In November, over 700 wine-loving philanthropists flocked to Southside Marina at Rudee Inlet in Virginia Beach for the 29th Annual Grand Auction. The long-running auction hosted by the Chesapeake Bay Wine Classic Foundation is one of the Commonwealth’s most esteemed tasting events. Pours from the world’s finest bottles and gourmet eats from regional chefs returned during the Grand Auction weekend.

Grand Auction




wine classic

live music
Photos by Jessica Shea Photography

The 2019 Grand Auction raised over $1 million to benefit the Access College Foundation, an organization that helps underrepresented and low-income students attain access to higher education. Proceeds were raised through ticket sales and elite auction packages presented by auctioneer John Curley. Guests bid on luxurious experiences such as a weeklong trip through French wine country, a Napa Valley wine luncheon, a five-day golf trip to Pebble Beach and tickets to the French Open Tennis Tournament.

Keeping glasses full were 24 guest vintners selected by the Board of Governors. Participating restaurants included Todd Jurich’s BistroCodexAloha SnacksEurasia CaféHearthPress 626Café ProvencalBella Monte Restaurant & Enoteca and Cuisine & Company. Closing out the party were the heartfelt vocals of former senator and lead singer of Guava Jam, Jeff McWaters.

For more information about the Foundation and upcoming events, visit

Written By

Grace Silipigni