Tuxedos, bubbly, rare bottles, and bid cards converged on Saturday night at the Bacara Resort & Spa, where nearly 500 winemakers, their friends, and their fans gathered for the Santa Barbara Vintners’ Foundation’s ninth biennial S.B. Wine Auction. By the time the glasses were emptied, the Michael Mina–prepared dishes cleaned, and the exciting live auction items sold, more than $1.2 million had been raised for Direct Relief, the Goleta-based nonprofit that responds to disasters all over the world. The evening, which included appearances by celebs Jane Lynch, Chris Harrison, and Andrew Firestone onstage, also honored Richard and Thekla Sanford, Michael Benedict, and Bob and Louisa Lindquist of Qupé Wines.
“While our $1 million for Direct Relief is small potatoes compared to Napa and Naples, it is truly wonderful what Direct Relief will do with the money,” said vintner and restaurateur Frank Ostini of the Hitching Post II, referring to other wine world auctions. “They will deliver over $30 million to the needy around the world and across America.” Since starting the event in 2000, the foundation has raised more than $4 million for Direct Relief.