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Wine for a Cause: Napa Valley Auction Could Offer Model for Community Fundraising


$18.7 million is a lot to raise in a single auction – but it was the total raised earlier this month by the Napa Valley Vintners Association in its annual Auction Napa Valley.

The yearly event raises money for charities that support the Napa community, which produces some of the top wines in the country, and the world.

Naturally, our wine contributor, Ray Fister, was on hand, and he says the event could provide a model for community fundraising even in a city like Milwaukee. 

Typically wine auctions are associated with wealth, but Fister firmly believes that a successful fundraiser can be hosted anywhere to impact vast communities in need.

"I don't think it has to be deep pockets...any amount is a place to start and you go from there," Fister says. "It depends on how you do it, and there are so many great charities in this market that have started here that built into something that becomes a household name...but for one specific cause versus doing something that's a bit broader for the city, for the county, for the state."

You can hear more from Auction Napa Valley and see photos as Fister's wine blog and podcast, Life Between the Vines. Fister also owns 5th Floor Recording in Milwaukee’s 3rd Ward.

Ray Fister is the co-creator and voice of the wine blog and podcast Life Between the Vines. Fister is also the owner and engineer of 5th Floor Recording Company. He has 30 years experience in professional recording, including 21 years working in the Milwaukee market.
Audrey is a WUWM host and producer for Lake Effect.