The bidding was electric at the first charity grape auction to take place on the Internet., the leading online marketplace for the wine industry, inaugurated its Internet grape sales with a special charity event that took place in cyberspace on August 28-30. More than $13,000 was raised on the Web to support industry efforts to control a pest that threatens California vineyards.The winning bidder, a Tampa, Florida wine distributor and his winery partner, took home three tons of prized Pinot Noir grapes from Santa Barbara’s renowned Bien Nacido Vineyards. At a stunning $4500 per ton, the Bacchus Wine Corporation was both generous and determined to outbid its online rivals at the WineryExchange-sponsored charity auction.A distributor with a plan, Bacchus Wine Corporation had already arranged for the Whitcraft Winery to produce and bottle its wine. Bacchus is patiently looking forward to releasing a premium Pinot Noir to its customers in two years time. Bacchus owner John O’Connor had high praise for the WineryExchange wine grape trading center: “Through and its technology, companies like ours can operate a continent away from the California wine industry and still participate in time-sensitive business transactions.”

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