The digital gavel will come down on three tons of prized Pinot Noir grapes when opens the first ever online charity wine grape sale August 28-30. The auction will be conducted by WineryExchange's new wine grape trading center, and will feature premium Pinot Noir grapes from world-renown Bien Nacido vineyards.

This auction marks the first online grape trading conducted by WineryExchange, the business-to-business marketplace that has emerged as the leading Internet commerce site for the wine industry. The charity event is also being made possible through the generous cooperation of Foxen Winery, who has donated their option to buy grapes from Bien Nacido's highly sought-after 2000 harvest.

All proceeds from the sale will benefit the American Vineyard Foundation, a wine industry-sponsored non-profit organization dedicated to enology and viticulture. The funds raised will be designated for research on the Glassy-winged Sharpshooter, a pernicious insect that spreads a disease lethal to grape vines, posing one of the biggest threats to face the wine industry in many years. This pest has already attacked a portion of the Temecula wine crop in Southern California, and has been found as far north as Napa and Sonoma counties.

"We're honored to partner with Bien Nacido and Foxen Winery to offer these grapes to the highest bidder," commented Peter Byck, president and CEO of WineryExchange. "Our customers can test-drive the first online marketplace for wine grapes, help support an important and timely industry cause, and, if they're feeling especially generous, become the envied owners of some of the best Pinot Noir in the world."

Bien Nacido grapes were recently profiled in Los Angeles Magazine, where writer John Winthrop Haeger enthused that the "...wines from Bien Nacido figure on the lists of every important restaurant in California, and on lists around the world that take California wine seriously." The harvest date for the Pinot Noir fruit will be between September 5 and 15, depending on the level of ripeness that the buyer wants to achieve.

WineryExchange's new wine grape trading center will offer convenient, efficient access to the world's largest selection of wine grapes. Buyers can source grapes by variety and price, as well as by unique details such as appellation, soils, and farming techniques. Sellers can list inventory, review account activity, and negotiate transactions.

The auction is only open to registered members of Interested bidders who are not yet members of WineryExchange are encouraged to apply for free membership online at

About WineryExchange

WineryExchange is a neutral, online business-to-business marketplace serving winegrowers, wineries, suppliers, and retailers. Founded in 1999 by leading wine industry, financial, and technology executives, the company provides products, services, and real-time market information for every link in the wine industry value chain -- from the dirt to the bottle. The Web site is also the premier forum for news, analysis, and discussion affecting the wine industry worldwide.

WineryExchange has received financial backing from venture investors Venrock Associates, 3i, and vTraction, and from prominent angel investors including Draper Richards and Fred Warren, founder of Brentwood Associates. The company is based in the San Francisco Bay Area with offices in Novato and San Bruno, California.