FAQ

1When was Florida Winefest & Auction, Inc. (FWA) started?
The first annual food and wine festival was in 1991.
2What is main purpose?
In 1992, a group of local volunteers formed a Board of Directors to help local charities raise funds for their organizations. Since then, FWA has provided funding to qualified charitable organizations for programs assisting disadvantaged youth and families in Sarasota and Manatee Counties. (Florida) Additionally, many not-for-profit groups don’t have the ability, manpower, or skills to raise funds themselves. We teach them how to raise funds so they can become independent.
3About our organization
FWA is a-nonprofit 501(c)3 organization. We have no employees and no fixed overhead. We are a grassroots charity that relies on the hard work of countless volunteers and generous donations. We are governed by a15-member Board of Directors whose members are all local residents active in our community.
4Who gets Grants?
Not-for-profit organizations whose sole purpose is assisting disadvantaged youth and their families in our community. How much we award each year depends on the net revenue from events and donations. To apply, visit our website, www.floridawinefest.org - click on the Grant Application Tab at the top and complete the form or mail a request to Florida Winefest & Auction, P. O. Box 4193, Sarasota FL 34230-4193.
5Who determines Grant Recipients?
Our Grants Committee reads and analyzes each request and makes recommendations to the Board of Directors who vote on the Committee’s decision and determines the total amount of the funds which will be distributed during the year. The Grants Committee also monitors and visits the actual programs to assure the funds are being used for the intended programs and or materials, e.g., books, meals, family counseling, etc. specified in their grant application.
6What type of events does FWA produce?
We focus on food and wine events. Events consist of wine and winemaker lunches, seminars, dinners, tastings, and a charity auction, both in-person and online. Prices range from $25 to $300 per person for live in-person events depending on the event and its scope. The on-line action is free to participate in upon registration.
7How much has been awarded?
We have awarded over $9 Million to 87 not-for-profit programs in Sarasota & Manatee Counties. Please review the list under the Charities tab on our website.
8What is the FWA theme this year and what is the potential schedule?
This year’s theme is really what the auction has always been about: “BID for KIDS.”

While the full schedule has not yet been formalized, the online auction will open October 29 and close November 11, 2022.

Pique Sur la Baie will be held at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall on November 10, 2022.

The Truffle Dinner will be November 12, 2022 at Sage Restaurant in Sarasota, FL. where the 2023 Grant Recipients will be announced.

Check our website for updates as events are posted.
9How to donate?
Visit our website www.floridawinefest.org and lick on the donate tab.
10How to volunteer?
Email us at info@floridawinefest.org and give us your contact information. Please mention if you have any experience in the food and wine industry or have any talents/skills, e.g., creative writing, artist, music, decorations, etc.? All of our events are staffed with volunteers who help us make such a difference in children’s lives. Want to feel good, do good and have fun? Volunteer!!!
11Sponsorships
We welcome both individual and corporate sponsorships. Please contact sandy@floridawinefest.org.
12How to contact us?
Telephone: 941-952-1109 or drop us an email: info@floridawinefest.org
13What are some of the most unusual items and memorable events that have been part of the auction?
A trip to London which included visiting many historical sites, a personal tour of Christie’s London Auction House and Wine Vaults and a tour of the Tower of London followed by an unusual treat - going to one of the Yeoman Warder’s home for tea.

One of the most spectacular and fun events is Banquet on the Block outside under the stars. 200 people at one long table enjoy a 5-course dinner prepared by 5 local chefs paired with wine served by participating vintners.

Winery visits to CA, France & Portugal – staying in guest houses on site, and assisting in the processes of the harvest.

Mardi Gras - New Orleans - with the opportunity to be part of the Krewe for the Okeanos Parade.

The live auction is the most exciting!! An auctioneer comes in from Christie’s of London.