Award-winning Gibbston Valley Winery raised $14,550 for national charity Cure Kids at a Gala Dinner and Charity Auction held at the winery last Saturday September 21.
The event, which took place in the winery’s Barrel Hall, was widely attended by locals and visitors who also celebrated the release of the winery’s 2012 Single Vineyard Pinot Noir, making them the first to try the new vintage.
Gibbston Valley Winery CEO Greg Hunt said it was a "magical night of incredible wine, food, entertainment and charity".
"I’m very proud to host an event that both celebrates our wine and supports an amazing charity," said Mr Hunt.
This is the second consecutive year that the winery has held a charity auction in combination with their gala dinner to support the charity. Over the two years a staggering $33,000 has been raised at the event with all proceeds benefiting Cure Kids.
Cure Kids CEO Vicki Lee said said Queenstown was a "very special place" for Cure Kids.
"Every single day we’re driven to find cures for life-threatening illnesses that affect so many of our kids and we couldn’t do it without the support of organisations like Gibbston Valley Winery," said Mrs Lee.
"We’re very fortunate to work alongside so many generous businesses in this beautiful part of the country."
Queenstown-based Cure Kids Fundraising and Events Manager, Tina Mathieson, attended the event with 17-year old Cure Kids ambassador, Izzy Kloogh from Dunedin.
Izzy, who lives with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia - ALL and is currently in remission, spoke about her experiences and explained to guests how Cure Kids’ research saved her life and its potential impact for others.
"I became a Cure Kids ambassador to raise awareness and to try and help kids who have been diagnosed today with life threatening illnesses by helping to raise money for research," said Ms Kloogh.
Guests dug-deep on the evening wildly biding for the amazing auction items which included rare and large-format bottles of wine donated by Gibbston Valley Winery, a Winter Collection Dress donated by Claire Bloom and various accommodation and attraction packages donated by local businesses.
Donations were kindly received from KJet, Totally Tourism, Air New Zealand Holidays, Hilton Queenstown Resort & Spa, Accor Hotels and Peugeot, The Hills Golf Course, Greenstone Entertainment and Ports of Auckland.
In addition to the charity auction, the black-tie event featured a five-course degustation menu and wine pairing as well as entertainment from New Zealand entertainer Peter Urlich, who is also a Cure Kids supporter.
"We’re delighted with the outcome of the entire evening," said Mr Hunt.
"It was an amazing opportunity for us to introduce our new 2012 single vineyard pinot noirs while also supporting an incredible charity."
"To see our wine draw people from around the country and help benefit a good cause is an incredible success for the entire team here at Gibbston Valley," said Mr Hunt.