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Collective Napa Valley wine programme makes debut

A new Napa Valley-wide initiative has been launched, blending philanthropy with the promise of virtual tastings, exclusive offers and access to special events for wine lovers in the US and beyond.

Described as a ‘year-round engagement and philanthropy programme’, Collective Napa Valley is the culmination of work to replace the annual Auction Napa Valley event that first started in 1981.

The new programme was launched on Monday (10 September), with trade body Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) encouraging wine enthusiasts to sign up.

While keeping a philanthropic principle, the new Collective programme is intended to reach a wider group of wine lovers – from high-end collectors to new drinkers – in the US and internationally. Educational elements will sit alongside exclusive offers from wineries and events, NVV said.

‘We’re thrilled to launch this revolutionary new way to engage with wine enthusiasts throughout the year all the while making a difference in our community,’ said Linda Reiff, president and CEO of NVV.

Three major events

An initial ‘spring offering’ will be built around a virtual tasting and 60-minute live broadcast on 24 March, with wine samples available in advance for those watching online.

There will then be summer and ‘fall’ offerings, the former including a futures barrel auction and the latter including a ‘vintage celebration dinner’ plus a live auction of exclusive experiences.

How membership works

It’s free to join the Collective programme, with benefits at this first tier including free virtual access to the inaugural event in March and also ‘exclusive opportunities to purchase wine’.

Beyond that, there are ‘enthusiast’ tiers for upfront donations of $1,000 and $5,000. Members at these levels get added benefits, such as access to more exclusive events and the option to buy tickets to a ‘futures barrel auction’ in June.

‘Additional membership levels with numerous enhanced benefits are available by request,’ said NVV.

Alycia Mondavi, co-proprietress of Aloft Wine and a member of the Collective Napa Valley board of directors, said, ‘What’s different about this programme is that it marries everything that people loved about Auction Napa Valley and extends it to several times a year while reaching a larger audience.’

Mondavi told Decanter that the initiative also gives more flexibility to smaller-scale wineries to get involved in different types of offers for Collective members.

‘It can be at every single level, from your complimentary virtual, educational level, all the way up to your once-in-a-lifetime experiences,’ she said.

She added that the programme would also help wineries to ‘curate experiences that bring in that next generation’.

In-person events will only be in held in Napa initially, but that could change. Stacey Dolan Capitani, VP of marketing for NVV, said the plan was to ‘take this on the road’ in the coming years. ‘Our five-year vision is that this is a global programme. For us, this is about wine consumers around the world.’

She described the concept as bringing together ‘like-minded people who love wine’ but who also wanted to ‘do good’.

NVV said it has donated more than $200m to community projects over the last 40 years.

Key dates for Collective Napa Valley

  • 24 March: Spring offering, including virtual tasting
  • 2-4 June: Summer offering, including a ‘futures barrel auction’ at Raymond Vineyards (3 June) and private winery events
  • 3-4 November: Vintage celebration dinner and auction

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