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Auction Napa Valley raises lifetime £100m

Auction Napa Valley took US€7.3m on Saturday – bringing the total takings over 31 years to US$100m.

Hot toddies greet rain-soaked guests

This year’s Auction Napa Valley total was US$1m less than last year, and considerably less than the US$10m and more it took in 2007 and 2005.

But the magical US$100m mark gave the 800-strong audience something to smile about under the unseasonal driving rain that had guests scurrying for cover.

The top lot came from the Staglinand Chiarello families: a three-day Napa excursion with gourmet food and seven large-format bottles that raised US$600,000.

John and Sandra Thompson of Woodside, CA, who come every year, was delighted by the day. ‘What was most interesting about this year’s Auction was that, in light of the weather, people turned out and really, really opened up and had a good time. The weather didn’t seem to deter the bidding at all.’

The biggest single-lot bid of the day was US$180,000 for an eight-magnum collection of Opus One, together with an eight-day tour of China for six with dinner in the Forbidden City and other treats.

In its 31-year history Auction Napa Valley has become one of the US’s highest-earning charity auctions.

As Garen Staglin of Staglin Family Vineyards told the San Francisco Chronicle, ‘If you go to New York, to the Metropolitan Opera, to San Francisco, none of them will raise this much money.’

Lots are donated by all the major Napa producers – Chappelletdonated a seven-day California excursion for six, Bond a dinner for eight at the winery, Rombauera trip to Lake Tahoe and Yosemite, Shafer three nights in Napa including a meal at the French Laundry.

Written by Adam Lechmere

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