Auction Napa Valley, the annual fundraiser and showcase for Napa Valley wines, raised more than US$9.8 million over the weekend as hard-to-snag wines, such as Screaming Eagle, Harlan Estate, and Colgin Cellars produced heated bidding.
Many of the top lots were sweetened by glamorous automobiles, European trips and private dinners with vintners. The largest bid was US$1.1m for three 3-liter bottles of Staglin Family Vineyard Sangiovese, a trip to Italy with the winery owners and a Maserati.
Three 3-liter bottles of Screaming Eagle with a dinner and campout in the vineyard sold for US$500,000; and US$400,000 bought an 18-liter bottle of Hundred Acre and dinner for 10.
The Napa Valley Vintners have thrown the annual summer party for 27 years, raising US$80 million dollars for healthcare, youth services and low-income housing in Napa County.
Other top lots included four 3-liter bottles of Harlan Estate and a dinner for eight people for US$380,000; a wine collection of large-format bottles from various Napa Valley wineries and a Lexus hybrid auto for US$360,000; a dinner for 10 and 15 bottles of Araujo Estate wines for US$340,000; and seven bottles of Colgin Cellars and a dinner for US$320,000.
Lately, the event’s organizers have tinkered with the event’s format in response to loyal top bidders who indicated they desired a shorter auction within a more intimate setting.
The 2007 auction, with 45 live lots, was held in the evening under a white tent at the Meadowood resort. A five-course dinner was served to 800 people during the festivities, which also included a standup routine by comedian Dana Carvey.
The dinner and auction were the culmination of three days of wining and dining, Napa Valley-style. Also featured was a barrel auction, which brought in US$1.23 million, 50% more than in 2006 with the same number of cases offered.
10 Top Live Lots
Staglin Family Vineyards, US$1.1 million
Screaming Eagle, US$500,000
Hundred Acre US$400,000
Harlan Estate, US$380,000
Napa Valley Vintners and Lexus, US$360,000
Araujo Estate Wines, US$340,000
Colgin Cellars US$320,000
Opus One, US$280,000
Shafer Vineyards, US$250,000
NVV and Departures Magazine, US$220,000
10 Top Barrel Lots
Shafer Vineyards, US$104,950
Pride Mountain Vineyards, US$36,400
Joseph Phelps Vineyards, US$35,850
D.R. Stephens Estate, US$35,000
Blackbird Vineyards, US$28,150
Jones Family Vineyards, US$24,900
Nickel and Nickel, US$22,050
William Cole Vineyards, US$22,000
2007 Top 10 E-Lots
Viader Vineyards, US$16,500
Domaine Chandon, US$15,100
Sherwin Family Vineyards, US$15,100
Miner Family Vineyards, US$14,500
Etude Wines, US$12,400
Franciscan Estate, US$12,100
Cakebread Cellars, US$11,200
NVV and Viking Range Corporation, US$10,600
Written by Janice Fuhrman in Napa