Since 1999, the V Foundation Wine Celebration has raised more than $137 million to support cancer research. This year’s 24th annual event kept up the good work, raising $6.5 million to fund early detection research. 

“The V Foundation continues to make a difference in the fight against cancer through the amazing support of our sponsors, donors and our generous bidders,” said Co-chairperson Amy Marks Dornbusch. 

L-R: Past event chair Julie Maples officially passes the chairperson duties off to longtime board member Amy Marks Dornbusch, who led the 2022 V Foundation Wine Celebration Weekend.

Founded in 1993 by North Carolina State University basketball coach Jim Valvano, the V Foundation for Cancer Research has funded groundbreaking cancer research with $290 million in grants. V Foundation-funded researchers are investigating a wide range cancer issues, including how melanoma metastasizes to the liver, combination therapies for non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and the molecular underpinnings for diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas, a rare and deadly pediatric cancer.

Three-Day Signature Series of Events in the Stunning Napa Valley

On Thursday, August 4, the event kicked off with the Humanitarians & Founders luncheon, which was held at Vineyard 7 & 8 and featured food by Chef Andre Villahermosa and wines from legendary Napa winemaker, Martha McClellan. 

The luncheon was followed by Dinner with the Docs surrounded by vineyards at Far Niente winery. Attendees mingled with clinicians and researchers on the V Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Committee, learning more about their important work. 

Beth Nickel, proprietress of Far Niente and legendary San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey at Dinner with the Docs at the V Foundation Wine Celebration Weekend.

The next day began with a luncheon at Press Restaurant for 2022 Vintner Grant Honoree, Samantha Rudd, featuring food from Chef Philip Tessier and wines from Rudd Estate. Friday evening was capped off with the entertaining Rock the V Party held at The Estate Yountville. 

Singer/songwriter Maggie Rose Performs with The Dirty Dozen Brass Band at the Rock the V party at the V Foundation Wine Celebration Weekend.

Saturday’s Answer for Cancer Research Symposium, gave leading physicians and scientists opportunities to talk about the current state of cancer research. Attendees learned about the various projects the V Foundation is funding and how early detection is one of the keys to curing cancer. 

Dr. Bill Nelson with Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins presents at the Answer for Cancer Symposium at the V Foundation Wine Celebration Weekend.

A weekend highlight was the Title IX Luncheon, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the passing of the landmark federal civil rights law that prohibits sex-based discrimination in any educational institution that receives federal funding.

This special event featured four elite athletes, including Olympic champion cross-country skier Kikkan Randall, former world No. 1 female billiard player Jeanette Lee, FISA world rowing champion and Olympic silver medalist Kate Johnson, and 4-time Olympian, 3-time World Championship medalist and 12-time U.S. National High Jump Champion Chaunté Lowe. All of these heralded women athletes have also courageously fought cancer and shared their compelling stories with attendees.

L-R: Former president of the WNBA, PGA TOUR Senior Executive Donna Orender, FISA world rowing champion and Olympic silver medalist Kate Johnson, former world No. 1 female billiard player Jeanette Lee, High Jump Champion Chaunté Lowe and Olympic champion cross-country skier Kikkan Randall at the Title IX Luncheon.

Saturday evening’s Gala brought the curtain down in grand style.

Wayne and Nan Kocourek celebrate their $1 million dollar fund a need bid at the Gala Auction at the V Foundation Wine Celebration Weekend.

Held at the Nickel & Nickel Estate Winery in Oakville, the event celebrated Duke University basketball legend Mike Krzyzewski’s final year of coaching. Other notables included former NFL defensive end and 2015 Jimmy V Perseverance Award winner Devon Still, and Food Network personality Chef Charles Phan. 

Devon Still, former NFL defensive end and 2015 Jimmy V Perseverance Award winner, and V Foundation Board Member and Duke University’s legendary former Men’s Basketball Coach Mike “Coach K” Krzyzewski kick off the Gala Auction at the V Foundation Wine Celebration Weekend.

The event peaked with the live auction, featuring dozens of incredible lots up for bid.

Erik Stenson and Cindy Goldberg celebrate a winning bid at the V Foundation Wine Celebration Gala Auction at the V Foundation Wine Celebration Weekend.

The evening’s top lot was 6 Liters of Screaming Eagle in Memory of Ron Kuhn, a V Foundation Wine Celebration and Napa Valley longtime friend, dedicated supporter, and philanthropist. The gavel came down at $270,000 for this very special lot featuring a 1992 6-Liter of Screaming Eagle, one of two ever produced by world renowned winemaker Jean Phillips, and one of the most prized possessions from her private cellar. The lot was purchased by Gary Jabara, new owner of the Estate Yountville, the Wine Celebration Weekend’s host headquarters.

The Gala Auction at the V Foundation Wine Celebration Weekend.

Other auction highlights included: 

The Royal Treatment at Wimbledon, four tickets to Wimbledon Ladies’ and Gentlemen’s Semi-Finals and Finals, lodging at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons Hotel in Oxfordshire, lunch with Sarah, Duchess of York at Hundred Hills Winery, and six magnums of 2015-2017 Nickel & Nickel Branding Iron Cabernet Sauvignon and 2015-2017 Nickel & Nickel CC Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon.

An Exclusive Sanctuary & Solomon, featuring five nights at an Exclusive Resorts residence paired with a rare 18-Liter of 2008 Kathryn Hall Cabernet Sauvignon, one of the top wines in the world for that vintage

“The V Foundation Wine Celebration has once again raised essential funds to help us move toward Victory over Cancer®,” said Shane Jacobson, CEO of the V Foundation. “We couldn’t do it without the support of our amazing staff and volunteers, united with our generous supporters and Napa Valley’s world-class vintners and talented chefs…congratulations to all!”

Shane Jacobson CEO of the V Foundation, welcomes the guests at the Gala Auction at the V Foundation Wine Celebration Weekend.

The 25th Annual Silver Anniversary V Foundation Wine Celebration will be held on August 3-6, 2023.