The Tradition of the Sun Valley Wine Auction

Thirty-five years ago the Sun Valley Center Wine Auction was inspired and created by Glenn Janss and a few close friends who shared the belief that this community needed a vibrant arts and humanities center. Few would have envisioned or predicted that their idea would be as significant and important today as it was back then. Yet three decades later, the Wine Auction is still as vital to arts programs in this valley as it was in the early 1980s. The Sun Valley Wine Auction defines quality, fun, and friendship through spirited philanthropy. 

The Sun Valley Center Wine Auction is the most visible symbol of community generosity and its commitment to arts and education in our area. The goal of the Wine Auction is to raise essential funds to maintain and enhance the arts in the Wood River Valley while continuing The Center’s tradition as an epicenter for arts in the Northwest.

As the story goes, in 1981 Glenn Janss visited Auction Napa Valley and decided “we could do that here” in Sun Valley to support the then fledgling arts center. She invited vintner friends and guests and they auctioned off some bottles and had a great time trading wine in support of the arts. Thousands of vintners have since joined the Sun Valley Center for the Arts on this journey. Much has changed over time but the exceptional and generous participation of wineries has not. We are thrilled and honored to have such an outstanding line-up of participating vintners joining us in our efforts. Some vintners have been part of the Wine Auction since its inception, such as Schramsberg, Trefethen and Far Niente. Others represent a new generation of winemaking families. The Wine Auction Committee selects a diverse group of vintners for participation each year. There are always new people to meet and tastes to discover. You can expect to be inspired and entertained in new ways every year.

The locals know that Sun Valley, Idaho, is a community built on camaraderie and meaningful friendships. The Sun Valley Wine Auction shares those same qualities. Lasting relationships are formed here between patrons and vintners. We take pride in being a world-class event with an intimate feel. And we welcome all of our guests with open arms. 

The Center has grown and flourished over the years but its mission has not changed—to enrich our community through transformative arts and educational experiences. And the tradition of the Sun Valley Center Wine Auction also remains the same—to raise vital funds to support the arts in our small community. The Sun Valley Wine Auction is as relevant as ever, bringing vintners and wine lovers together in a beautiful location for three glorious days of incredible wine, food, and friendship.

 For the love of the arts and this community, let’s all raise our glasses and our paddles to 36 years of jubilant tradition.

Wine Auction Photos from the Archive