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Glenfiddich, Bugatti experiences auctioned for Leonardo DiCaprio’s climate fundraiser

August 8, 2017

Buyers at the auction could purchase unique experiences such as visiting a whiskey distillery. Image credit: Glenfiddich


The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, an organization dedicated to raising money and awareness for environmental causes, is hosting an online auction that features experiences from Scotch whisky Glenfiddich and home decor by French automaker Bugatti.

Art collectors and luxury buyers from around the world attended a live auction at the end of July, which was hosted at the Domaine Bertaud Belieu vineyard in Saint-Tropez, France. The foundation, which is named for the eponymous actor who founded it, is now banking on the draw of these prominent brands to bring in money to help fight climate change via online bidding kicking off Aug. 10.

Auction block
Tackling the problems presented by climate change and other environmental degradation is a mammoth task.

Going forward, it will take a massive, concerted effort to reverse much of the damage that has already been done to the environment.

Mr. DiCaprio, in addition to his acting, has been a major proponent of environmental action, primarily through his foundation, which raises money and awareness for scientists and organizations that are working towards that goal.

The most recent action the LDF has taken is organizing its fourth annual gala and auction, which was held on July 26.

Glennfiddich Scotch whisky. Image credit: Glennfiddich

In addition to the gala, LDF is hosting an online auction, from Aug. 10-23, selling a number of products and experiences from some of the most prestigious luxury brands to raise money for environmental causes.

For example, Scotch whisky distiller Glennfiddich and Daniel Marshall, a top name in the high-end cigar industry, are auctioning off a comprehensive experience where buyers can go on a tour of Glenfiddich and Balvenie Distilleries. The tour will be hosted by Kirsten Grant, great-great granddaughter of founder William Grant, Glenfiddich's master blender Brian Kinsman and the Balvenie master blender David Stewart OBE.

This experience has a starting bid of $50,000, giving a rough guideline for the price range of these products.

On this tour, buyers can sample some of the finest whisky and cigars in the world.

Other luxury products on the auction block include a Bugatti home office desk and chair, designed by the automaker's lifestyle division, as well as a Motorman moped from MEIJS.

At last year's event, more than $46 million was raised in total for environmental causes.

Climate action
Auctions are a staple of the luxury buyer’s shopping experience, as they provide ultra high-end buyers with the kinds of unique products and experiences that they cannot get elsewhere.

Case in point: Auction house Sotheby’s celebrated the 48th anniversary of the moon landing with an auction of out-of-this-world artifacts.

The July 20 sale “Space Exploration” included items such as lunar photography and the flight plan for Apollo 13. Taking this celebration of space beyond those who bid successfully, Sotheby’s hosted a public exhibit at its New York headquarters prior to the auction (see story).

Daniel Marshall cigars. Image credit: Glenfiddich

Sotheby’s has also far exceeded its projected revenue from modern art sales last month quite a bit.

Auctioneer Sotheby’s June 2017 sale of Impressionist and Modern Art in London exceeded its sales total estimate by 11 percent.

Sotheby’s had put the auction’s low-end estimation at $178.7 million, but the sale instead achieved $200.8 million. The total sales figure for Impressionist and Modern Art is 11 percent higher than the same auction from a year ago (see story).

This shows how valuable auctions can be as a tool for raising money and awareness, something the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation is tapping into with its auction for climate action.