In the summer of 1980, l’Eté du Vin began with a single auction and received its original name Un Eté du Vin or A Summer of Wine. It began simply enough. A group of Nashville friends, led by Tennessean critic Homer Blitch and businessman Thomas J. Milam, were looking for a new and entertaining way to raise funds for the American Cancer Society. The event operated under the non-profit status of the American Cancer Society. Over the years l’Eté du Vin expanded to a series of wine-themed events, spanning the entire summer and drawing attendees and wine professionals from all across the United States.
By 1993, l’Eté du Vin had become the nation’s largest one-day charity wine auction outside the California wine industry. Its success has inspired a large number of similar events, but its unique character has never been duplicated.
In January of 2003, l’Eté du Vin became an independent 501(c)(3), dedicated to raising funds to support the fight against cancer, and began funding additional cancer related non-profit charitable organizations.
While l’Eté du Vin continues to contribute to the important work of the American Cancer Society, its horizons have expanded in support of the fight against cancer. To that end, l’Eté du Vin now offers grants of financial support to other local cancer related non-profit organizations. All of the money raised stays in middle Tennessee.