OCWS Wine Auction Great Wines For a Better Cause

Many of us look forward to the OCWS Wine Auction each year. It is a time to see friends, share some great wine and food and fill our personal cellars with California wines at unbeatable prices.

While you might think the wine auction is held just to empty out the OCWS cellar in preparation for this year’s wine competition, it is our second most important fundraiser of the year, just behind the Wine Courtyard during the OC Fair. As a reminder, the OCWS is a non-profit 501c(3) organization with a mission to support wine education. We do this through our programming at the OC Fair (wine tasting, seminars, featured wineries); winery programs during the spring; and, which features all of the winners from the OC Fair Commercial Wine Competition.

But by far our biggest support of wine education is the OCWS Scholarship Fund, which this year surpassed the $750,000 mark in donations to eight California colleges and universities with wine and culinary arts-related programs.

For those who have never attended the event, here is what to expect:

  • Over 1,000 silent auction lots placed in order on tables that span the event venue.
  • Over 100 verbal auction lots auctioned off randomly by our professional auctioneer.
  • Lots consist of four bottles of quality California wine curated by our own cellarmaster and his team who have spent weeks putting together the lots.
  • Printed and electronic catalogue of the auction lots available for attendees a few weeks before the event.
  • Mystery lots of wine available at crazy low prices and can be ordered at the beginning of the event, guaranteeing you will go home with something.
  • Food and wine served throughout the event in several courses (appetizers, entrees and desserts).
  • Doors open at 11 a.m. and bidding starts immediately.
  • Silent auction lots picked up randomly throughout the event until 4:30 p.m.
  • Checkout process begins shortly after 5 p.m. and concludes when all wines have been paid for and picked up. No early checkout is available under any circumstances. Please plan to stay until 6 p.m.

So whether you are looking to fill your wine cellar with some great deals on California wines, enjoying time with friends or great wine and food, or you want to support the wine industry by contributing to the OCWS Scholarship Fund, the OCWS Wine Auction has you covered.

OCWS members attend the annual wine auction featuring more than 4,400 wines in search of good deals and fun times.

The OCWS has been pairing wine education and fun for decades and this event is no exception. At only $20 per person for wine, food and a chance to get some great deals on wine, the wine auction is a bargain.

You can get even more involved by contributing your time as a volunteer during part of the event.

Please join us on Saturday, April 22, at the OC Fair and Event Center for our annual auction (a members-only event). Thank you in advance for your support of the OCWS and our mission to promote wine education.

Carolyn Christian – Event Chair

2022 Wine Auction—Wrap Up

The 2022 Wine Auction was a great success this year, thanks to all our members who made it possible!  The Wine Auction is our second largest fund-raiser of the year to help support the events that we do such as the Commercial Wine Competition and College Scholarships.

Hats off to our Wine Auction Committee:

  • Check-in/Admin – Ellen Flynn, Karen Russell
  • Check-out – Chris Bruce, Janet Riordan
  • Computers – Sam Clark, Scott Green
  • Food – Jean Vetri-Wilson, Kathy Fusaro
  • Wine Operations/Inventory – Hank Bruce, Greg Risling, Kevin Coy
  • Volunteers – Damian Christian, Kim Clark

A special thank you to Bill Redding and his team of volunteers who sorted and bagged all the wines prior to the big day!

A BIG thank you to our top 10 spenders for 2022, who included: Robert Maloney & Joey DeLeon, C.K. & Laurel Allen, Charles Gustafson, George Euan, James & Pamela Clauss, Sandi & Danny Jones, Julie Good, Kathy & William Schymick, Stephen Martinez & Lindalee Iverson, and Shelly Jayne.

The event featured approximately 1300 auction lots and 138 lots of mystery wines. The lowest priced lot sold for $31, and the highest priced lot sold for $351. This year we tried a few new things to improve the event. We have received great feedback from attendees and hope to make the event even better in 2023! Cheers!

– Carolyn Christian, Board Member & Event Chair

2021 OCWS Wine Auction Recap

Going Once, Going Twice…Gone! And it’s a wrap on the 2021 OCWS Wine Auction! Thank you to all of the amazing volunteers who made this event possible. We had over 70 volunteers help in making this a very successful event. A special thanks to my committee, who has been working since 2020 when we first thought this Auction would have to be held online. In the spring of 2021, we finally received word that we could hold the event in person and secured a venue at the OC Fair & Event Center for October!

2021 OCWS Wine Auction Committee Members:

  • Chris Bruce – Check-out
  • Hank Bruce – Facilities
  • Damian Christian – Volunteers / Staff
  • Kevin Donnelly – Computers
  • Ellen Flynn – Administration
  • Rochelle Randel – Event Food / Wine
  • Bill Redding – Wine Inventory / Advisor
  • Janet Riordan – Check-out
  • Greg Risling – Facilities
  • Rich Skoczylas – Event Food / Wine

At big thank you to all of the volunteers who stepped up to help and make this event a huge success!

The OCWS Wine Auction is one of our major fundraising events and helps support the organizations’ year-round activities and programs such as the OC Fair Commercial Wine Competition, Scholarship Fund, and more! This Auction replaced both the 2020 and 2021 Wine Auctions that were scheduled in the spring.

The event was a huge success thanks to our members who bid against each other for their favorite lots. Thank you to our highest bidders, who included: C.K. & Laurel Allen, Dave Beach, Hank & Chris Bruce, Dennis & Gloria DeRosia, and Kathy & William Schymick.

Here are some highlights and fun facts about this year’s Auction:

  • Attendees: 200 (one of the highest numbers in the history of this event)
  • Silent Auction Lots: 1407
  • Lowest Priced: $29
  • Highest Priced: $180
  • Verbal Lots: 104
  • Lowest Priced: $45
  • Highest Priced: $270
  • PYOL Lots Sold: 96
  • Feet of Paper Used on Silent Auction Tables: Over 500
  • Bottles of Wine Consumed: 120
  • Bratwurst Sliders Consumed: Over 190
  • Sheet Pans of Apple Tart Consumed: 3
  • Large Pumpkin Pies Consumed: 5
  • Pounds Lifted of Wine: Over 81,000
  • Gross Revenue for Event: Over $100,000

If you missed your opportunity to stock up on wine, you won’t have to wait long for your next opportunity!  The 2022 OCWS Wine Auction is scheduled for Saturday, April 9, 2022 at the OC Fair & Event Center. We are currently forming a committee to help put on next year’s event, so contact me if you are interested in serving on this great team of dedicated volunteers at!

We look forward to seeing you at the 2022 OCWS Wine Auction!  Cheers!

– Carolyn Christian, Director/Wine Auction Chair