Auction of Washington Wines announced it is moving all 2020 events to a virtual-only format. The decision was made with consideration for the safety and well-being of all patrons, donors, sponsors, winemakers and staff, according to a news release. The organization is also exploring new ways of reaching broader audiences and building more support for Washington’s wine industry, which has reported significant economic impact from the pandemic. 

“We must find new ways to come together and are thrilled for the opportunity to re-imagine what this year’s programming will look like in a virtual environment,” said Jamie Peha, AWW’s executive director, in the release. 

This year’s annual Eastern Washington event, the Wine & Music Festival, will become an online auction running May 6 to 10. The virtual auction will feature lots from 28 Washington wineries, including local wineries that would have poured at the in-person event. Bidding registration is now open and a list of participating wineries and auction lots can be reviewed at

In lieu of AWW’s annual wine weekend in August, this year’s event will move to a virtual auction on Saturday, Aug. 15. The 2020 auction will feature a select number of lots and a digital raise-the-paddle component.

“We’re hopeful the concentrated, virtual approach this year will help everyone stay safe and healthy, while ensuring critical continued support of the Washington wine industry and AWW’s charitable beneficiaries,” said Beth McCaw, president of AWW’s board of directors, in the release. Since its inception in 1988, AWW has raised more than $50 million, benefiting Seattle Children’s Hospital and Washington State University Wine Science Center.

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—by Jonelle Mejica