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January 7, 2009updated Dec 20, 2023

Precious Jewels Add Sparkle To World’s Most Successful Charity Wine Festival

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

NAPLES, Fla. – All that glitters will go to help children in need when the 2009 Naples Winter Wine Festival gets under way Feb. 6. Four of the 65 lots to be auctioned off as part of the three-day festival will feature precious gems from Bulgari, Cartier, Chopard, and Tiffany & Co. All money raised during the auction goes to underprivileged and at-risk children through the Naples Children & Education Foundation, the founding organization for the festival.

“These are statement jewelry pieces donated by the finest jewelers in the world,” said Connie Galloway, co-chair of the 2009 festival and NCEF trustee. “On their own the jewelry would be fabulous, and combined with exclusive showings and other once-in-a-lifetime experiences, they are truly remarkable auction lots.”

Lot 11 – Tiffany & Co.
The lot features an unforgettable Tiffany & Co. experience, beginning with a trip to New York City with luxury accommodations for two nights for two couples. While there, the winners will go on a $50,000 shopping spree at the legendary Tiffany & Co. Fifth Avenue store and attend the highly anticipated Tiffany Blue Book event in October 2009, where they will be treated to an evening of elegant dining and world-renowned entertainment. Winners will also take a behind-the-scenes tour of Tiffany’s jewelry workshop where master artisans handcraft the diamond and gemstone jewelry for the Blue Book Collection.

Lot 32 – Cartier
The lot is titled Where Fifth Avenue Meets Rue de la Paix. It features a trip to New York City and Paris along with two Cartier American tank watches and two full-diamond Cartier “Love” bracelets. While in New York, the exclusive itinerary includes a personal tour of the landmark Fifth Avenue Cartier mansion and private dinner with Cartier President and CEO Frédéric de Narp as well as a special showing of Cartier’s High Jewelry Salon. In Paris, there will be a visit to Cartier’s workshops and archives, private tours of the Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art and Cartier’s flagship store on Rue de la Paix, and an exhibition of the Cartier collection pieces in Jeanne Toussaint’s salon. The trip also includes dinner in a Michelin, 3-star Paris restaurant and a day trip to the Champagne region.

Lot 44 – Chopard
A once-in-a-lifetime experience is in store for two couples who fly to Nice, France, to attend the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. The lot includes walking the red carpet, attending a movie premiere, mingling with movie stars at a private cocktail party and sunbathing at Chopard’s private beach club. Also included is a private preview of the 2009 Chopard Red Carpet Haute Joaillerie collection and an 18-karat white gold ladies timepiece from the Happy Palme collection, featuring a diamond bezel and swirling diamond Palme d’Or.

Lot 59 – Bulgari
A trip to Rome for two couples is just the start of the lot winner’s jewelry-centric adventure. As honored guests of Paolo and Nicola Bulgari and Francesco Trapani, the winners will attend the 2009 High Jewelry Gala in Rome where Bulgari’s most unique and spectacular creations are unveiled for the first time to a select number of privileged guests at the event expected to draw celebrities and dignitaries from around the world for the jeweler’s 125th anniversary. The lot winner’s jewels are encased in a stunning Profumo necklace by Bulgari in 18-karat white gold with 23 pearls and pavé diamonds.

The Naples Winter Wine Festival is ranked as one of the top arts and entertainment events for wealthy Americans by the Luxury Institute and as the top charity wine auction since 2004 by Wine Spectator. The festival comprises a tour of children’s charities, a lunch and wine tasting guided by some of California’s finest vintners, Friday evening vintner dinners in the elegant homes of 17 NCEF trustees presided over by famous chefs and vintners. On Saturday, there is a culinary showcase and wine tasting that precedes the auction on the grand lawn of The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples. In the evening, there is a “wine”-down party, and on Sunday, the festival concludes with a celebration brunch.
NCEF trustees who founded the festival had a vision to create an exquisite event that would raise funds for children’s charities in Collier County, Fla. Since the first festival in 2001, $69.5 million has been raised toward making a profound and sustainable difference for children in need.
Festival ticket packages are $7,500 per couple; $20,000 for reserved seating at the same vintner dinner for two couples. For a schedule of 2009 festivities, a complete listing of auction lots and more information about the Naples Winter Wine Festival, please visit, or call the wine festival office at 888-837-4919.

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