As we all may know, Napa Valley is known to be the wine-producing region north of San Francisco and is also known for the hundreds of vineyards they have. For the past 35 years, Napa Valley has held community fundraisers to help enhance the wellbeing of the Napa Valley community. This year, over the span of four days, the Napa Valley Vintners annual charity fundraiser “Auction Napa Valley” raised a breathtaking $15.8 million. Auction Napa Valley enriches the lives of more than 90,000 clients annually in the areas of community health and children’s education.
The event started Thursday, June 4th, and continued all the way until Sunday. You might be wondering, what all does the auction entail? What takes place during these four days? What do the guests participate in?
The auction started off Thursday evening with vintner-hosted Welcome Parties and continued on Friday with the Napa Valley Barrel Auction at HALL St. Helena. During this day around 2,000 guests sampled 120 coveted Napa Valley Wines, which was nearly 90% from the much-anticipated 2013 vintage. The guests sampled the wines directly from the barrel and also had a chance to spend time with the winemakers and vintners themselves. The Napa Valley Barrel Auction raised a record of $1.9 million through the sale of these Napa Valley wine futures.
Indeed, Friday was an eventful day for their guests. Aside from tasting wines directly from the barrel, guests also had the opportunity to stroll the art-filled grounds at HALL, while enjoying sips of 100 current release Napa Valley wines and tasty bites from more than 40 of Napa Valley’s celebrated chefs and food purveyors. There was also an enthralling flash mob performance of “Ode to Joy” from Beethoven’s immortal Ninth Symphony, which was a gift from the owners of HALL St. Helena, Kathryn and Craig Hall.
On Saturday there was a Live Auction Celebration at Meadowood Napa Valley in which 850 guests enjoyed a wine country marketplace lunch, composed by Chef Michael Chiarello. On this day, guests gathered in a spacious, clear-span, white tent for a rousing auction of 51 extraordinary lots of Napa Valley wines and special experiences.
You might be wondering what lots were auctioned, so below are the Top Ten Live Auction Lots, Barrel Auction Lots, and E-Auction Lots –
Top Ten Live Auction Lots:
Opus One Chair’s Lot
Napa Valley Vintners: Fund-A-Need
Alejandro Bulgheroni Estate
Chateau Montelena, Joseph Phelps Vineyards and Quintessa
Staglin Family Vineyard
Top Ten Barrel Auction Lots:
Spottswoode Estate Vineyard & Winery
Top Ten E-Auction Lots:
Grgich Hills Estate
Kapcsandy Family Winery
Beaulieu Vineyard, Sterling Vineyards, Provenance Vineyards, Hewitt Vineyard and Acacia
Sherwin Family Vineyards
Crocker & Starr Wines, Outpost Wines
Clif Family Winery
Gamble Family Vineyards, Gemstone, Saint Helena Winery, Revana Family Vineyard
Dalla Valle Vineyards
The Chair’s Lot, which was donated by Honorary Auction Chairs, the Opus One Team, included a 35-year vertical wine collection of Opus One magnums and a two-week tour and visits with celebrated winemaking families in Napa Valley and throughout Europe. The Chair’s Lot ended up raising $2.4 million, making it the top grossing lot of all time.
John Legend made a surprise appearance and performed his hit “All of Me” immediately prior to the sale of Live Auction Lot 31, which was a collaboration between Legend and Raymond Vineyards. The lot sold for $850,000.
Fund-A-Need was a prelude to the last lot of the day, and also one of the most important ones. For this lot, bidders give differing amounts of money purely to benefit the needs of children in Napa Valley. And to finally end the event, Auction Napa Valley’s online E-Auction set a new record of $612,500.
The mission of Auction Napa Valley is to raise funds to enhance the health and well-being of the Napa Valley Community and, based on the amount of money raised this year, one can tell that this auction is successful. The next Auction Napa Valley takes place June 2-5, 2016. Tickets go on sale in late January 2016, so if you’re near the area and are interested, purchase a ticket so you can be part of this giving experience!