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January 18, 2012

Naples Wine Festival 2012

By Jordan Kisner | Wine

Courtesy Naples Wine Festival

Oenophiles and philanthropists alike will gather January 27–29 in Naples, Florida, for a seasonal highlight: the 2012 Naples Winter Wine Festival. Attendees will sip rare vintages, feast in style at intimate dinners prepared by world-class chefs (Wolfgang Puck and the festival’s chef de cuisine, Tony Mantuano, are among the 17 participants) and bid at the festival’s live auction, which last year raised $12 million for the Naples Children & Education Foundation. On the auction block this year: a carved 75th-anniversary Chateau Haut-Brion wooden console filled with eight bottles of the vintner’s rarest wines (including a 1935 vintage that has never left the estate’s cellar), a private around-the-world jet tour and the first 2012 Mercedes SLS AG Roadster to be made available in the U.S.

Those in the know will vie for tickets to a special wine tasting and lunch hosted on January 26, before the regular events begin, by the festival’s honored vintner, Prince Robert of Luxembourg. Guests will take part in a side-by-side tasting of five of the finest vintages from France’s Chateau Haut-Brion and Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion, followed by a lunch accompanied by two more extremely rare wines. Which, you ask? It’s a surprise—you’ll have to be there to find out.