As long time readers know, I will (very) occasionally recommend an upcoming Washington wine event of particular significance. One such event this month is the Auction of Washington Wines, which takes place August 18th through 20th.

The Auction was first created in 1988 as a partnership between the Washington Wine Commission and the Enological Society of the Pacific Northwest (now called the Seattle Wine Society). It has evolved over the years into its own 501(c)(3) organization. The goal remains both to promote the local wine industry and to give back to the community.

The three-day event starts with the Picnic & Barrel Auction on August 18th on the lawn at Chateau Ste. Michelle. Over 70 wineries will be represented, with numerous winemakers walking Ste. Michelle’s stunning grounds pouring their wines. For the Barrel Auction, 25 wineries will be auctioning off cases of to-be-released wines to the five highest bidders. Attendees will be able to taste the barrel samples during the event.

Friday features a series of winemaker dinners, with a who’s who list of participating wineries including Andrew Will, DeLille, Doubleback, Leonetti Cellar, Quilceda Creek, and Woodward Canyon.

Finally, Saturday brings the Covey Run – a 5k or 10k run/walk – followed by the Wine Gala. The Wine Gala features several significant changes this year. A winemaker will now be at every table, and the event will no longer be black tie. Sherri Swingle, who assumed the position of Executive Director in January, says, “We wanted to breathe a little newness by taking away the black tie. It’s a very simple but significant change.”

The Gala features a six-course meal and more than 25 one-of-a-kind auction items (a weeklong cruise around the world with Betz Family Winery anyone?).

Proceeds from the Auction benefit both uncompensated care at Seattle Children’s Hospital and the Washington Wine Education Foundation. Since its inception, the event has raised more than $24 million, including $1.4M last year.

Read more about the Auction of Washington Wines as well as ticket information for each of the events here.