The 2023 Wine Auction had about 300 attendees, with 17 percent from outside of the area

People having a lot of fun at the Wine Auction. Photo courtesy Krista Rupp

By Krista Rupp

Krista Rupp

Guests from near and far are invited to “gallop into glamour” and dress to impress with fascinators and equestrian flair at the 2024 Santa Clara Valley Wine Auction at 6 p.m. May 4 at Clos LaChance Winery.

The Morgan Hill Community Foundation, in partnership with the Wineries of Santa Clara Valley, will host this impactful event that is one of the premier annual showcases of our very own Santa Clara Valley American Viticultural Area and supports a great cause by raising funds for Morgan Hill’s leading charitable organization and nonprofits serving the greater Morgan Hill area.

Falling on the same day as the Kentucky Derby, this year’s wine auction is a “derby style” celebration. General admission includes wine and food tasting with live music on the Grand Lawn at Clos LaChance from 6 to 9 p.m.

Attendees will sample wine from regional wineries and thoughtfully curated bites from in-house caterer, Chef Lou, all while taking in breathtaking views of the vineyard and rolling hillsides.

VIP ticket holders have even more in store with early entry at 5 p.m. for a select reserve wine tasting, awarding a “People’s Choice Winery,” unique bites, a barrel tasting, and Kentucky Derby trivia.

The evening will also include a derby hat contest and raffle prizes. A much-anticipated highlight of the night is the live auction. The paddles will be flying as Morgan Hill Mayor Mark Turner serves as auctioneer, selling off exciting items like a 19 person VIP suite at a San Jose Sharks game and luxurious seven-night stay in Mexico.

Proceeds from the event’s ticket sales, silent and live auctions, and sponsorships go toward local non-profit organizations serving the greater Morgan Hill area. The 2023 Santa Clara Valley Wine Auction was a significant success, after returning from a multi-year hiatus. The 2023 event raised about $44,000 total, with $14,000 going directly to 10 non-profit entities and $28,000 channeled through Morgan Hill Community Foundation grants to nonprofits and schools.

“This is an amazing collaboration among our south Santa Clara Valley partners, including the wine association, sponsors, philanthropic organizations and volunteers,” said Rob Christopher, Morgan Hill Community Foundation president. “The generosity and community spirit of these participants and all who attend will make this both a memorable and inspiring evening in support of worthwhile local causes, made all the better by sharing terrific food and wine.”

A dedicated volunteer group makes up the wine auction planning committee, including Morgan Hill Community Foundation board members, the Wineries of Santa Clara Valley organization, Visit Morgan Hill, and Bre Garcia Events.

The committee intends to grow the event year after year to further support local causes and attract new interest to the local wine country. The 2023 Wine Auction event had about 300 attendees, with 17 percent coming from outside of the area.

The Santa Clara Valley wine region is a shining gem, with multiple wineries bringing home awards from the recent San Francisco Chronicle wine competition.

To join in the fun at the 2024 Wine Auction this May, general admission tickets are $95 with advance purchase and $115 at the door. VIP experience tickets are $150, for advance purchase only and with limited availability. Tickets are sold on a first-come basis, and this is an age 21 and older event. To purchase tickets, secure a sponsorship, donate auction items, or volunteer, please visit

For more information about which nonprofits were supported by the 2023 Santa Clara Valley Wine Auction, please visit

Krista Rupp is the executive director of Visit Morgan Hill. She wrote this column for Morgan Hill Life.