The Naples Winter Wine Festival

November 16, 2012

With more than $107 million raised to date, the Naples Children & Education Foundation has a reputation for reaching out to hundreds of at risk children in Florida, thanks to its fund raising efforts that culminate at the Naples Winter Wine Festival.

This year’s event, which cost a cool $8,500 per couple, took place last month over three days, and once again sought to gather support among Florida’s wealthy to improve the lives of underprivileged children. Once again, a host of Naple’s most respected vinters arrived at the event, together with renowned vinters from across the world – including two of the most esteemed French winemaking families – the makers of Domaine Ponsot and Château de Beaucastel.

Other famous participants at the event included the well-known Austrian vinter David Powell of Torbreck, and Marchesi Antinori’s Piero Antinori.

Bob Dickinson, Vintner co-chair and honorary NCEF trustee, told those gathering at the Wine Festival that the event was the “G20 of the wine and culinary world”.

“We have brought together the top vinters worldwide, together with the crème de la crème of the world’s chefs,” said Dickinson.

For the first time in the Naples Wine Festival’s history, no less than 16 wine dinners were held at venues across the city, including in the homes of several of Naple’s wealthiest benefactors.

Each of the dinners was ‘themed’. For example, the dinner held by John Kolasa of Chateau Canon was styled as a “Fly me to the Moon” dinner, with extravagant dishes prepared by none other than Christopher Lee. Meanwhile, the “Midnight in Paris” dinner was a very special event, featuring the pairing of some of Chateau de Beaucastel’s finest wine varieties, together with a meal prepared by the one and only Joseph Lenn of Walland, Tennessee’s Blackberry Farm.

Other highlights of this year’s event saw the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort host a culinary showcase featuring dishes from all the top chefs to attend the festival, plus the excitement of the “Meet the Kids” day, where guests had a chance to get to know the children benefitting from the proceeds of the festival.

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