Our 28th Annual Charity Wine Auction Weekend: Here’s What You Missed!

Our 28th Annual Charity Wine Auction Weekend: Here’s What You Missed!

The TumTum Tree Foundation’s 28th Annual Charity Wine Auction weekend was not only a record-breaking fundraising event, it was also an unprecedented coming-together of epicures and enophiles from all over the world! Our goal was to raise $1,000,000 in 2017, and with the help of longtime, new and returning supporters of the auction, we were able to hit our mark. We could not have achieved this success without the support of our Presenting Sponsor, PNC, along with our Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze Sponsors (click here to see them all) and our generous donors and ambitious bidders. We are so deeply grateful for your support.

Read on to relive the excitement OR see what you missed, and save the date for our 2018 Auction Weekend: November 8-10, 2018! The following photos were captured by the talented and wonderful Rob Culpepper.


Thursday Evening, November 2nd, 2017:

A Wine Tasting with OVER 30 Wineries (the most we’ve ever had at our event!) and a Silent Auction with over 60 auction items at Region’s Field! Following the auction was a fabulous after-party, our first annual Bubble Bash, presented by Alabama Crown, pouring Faire de la Fete bubbles at Region’s Field!

Jasmine Hirsch (Hirsch Vineyards) having a laugh with longtime supporter and Board Member, Stewart Lee.

The ole sniff and swirl with Board President Ryan Lutz

Eric Jensen from Booker Wines dropping knowledge

Michael Polenske (Blackbird Vineyards) giving the people what they want

More tasting and smiling and dropping of wine knowledge

Following the Silent Auction, we hosted 12 Winemaker Dinners all across Birmingham. Jake Krausz of Arkenstone poured at a pop-up event at Sloss Furnaces Visitors Center, where guests participated in an Iron Pour and enjoyed incredible food by Chefs Adam Evans (opening a new concept in Bham Spring 2018), Rob McDaniel (SpringHouse), and James Lewis (Bettola).

Pop-up Dinner hosted at Sloss Furnaces Visitors Center

Jake Krausz of Arkenstone and Iron Pour Specialist at Sloss Furnaces

Iron Pour for TumTum Guests at Sloss Furnaces

Guests enjoying Arkenstone wines overlooking the gorgeous Birmingham skyline

Chefs Adam Evans, Rob McDaniel, James Lewis making magic happen

A glowing tablescape at the Arkenstone Winemaker Dinner


Friday Evening, November 3rd, 2017:

Our 28th Annual Charity Wine Auction was a smashing success! With 45 Live Lots, including exclusive dinners at Eleven Madison Park (NYC, #1 Restaurant in the World), Tom Keller’s The French Laundry, get-aways to France, California and Oregon, and beautiful wines, art and jewelry, plus 8 Super Silent Lots. (See our 2017 Catalogue here: TumTumCatalog-2017-WEB). Guests enjoyed incredible wines, featuring our Honorary Chairs Jake Krausz from Arkenstone and Wes Steffens from Vineyard 7&8 and fabulous food prepared by James Beard nominated chef Rob McDaniel (SpringHouse). It was a riotous good time!

The Live Auction was held in the newly renovated Thomas Jefferson Tower in Downtown Birmingham

The evening began with a Champagne Reception with help from our team of sommeliers

Let the games begin!

Raise those paddles high!

Eric Jensen and Fern Frias: Winning feels so good!

A warm moment between Tom Miller, Executive Director Emeritus and Susan Curtin, Board Member and Founder

Board Member Danny McKinney with our Honorary Chairs Wes Steffens and Jake Krausz, having a laugh

Wes Steffens attempting to saber a warm bottle of sparkling with a credit card


Let’s just say we had a good time.




Saturday, November 4th, 2017:

The Auction Weekend festivities concluded with our 3rd Annual Football Tailgate in Tuscaloosa at the AL-LSU Game with Cajun fare prepared by the delightful Chris Hastings. A big win by the Crimson Tide was the perfect ending for an epic 28th Annual Auction Weekend!

Chef Chris Hastings pulling out all the stops!

Many thanks to dear friend and supporter Jay Crenshaw for hosting!

Board Member Doug Eckert converting vintners left and right to the Tide

A beautiful day for Game Day!

And the perfect ending to a wonderful weekend.

We hope to see you in Birmingham next year.