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New Collective Napa Valley wine programme to launch

A new philanthropy initiative focused on events for wine lovers in California and beyond is to be launched as part of efforts to ‘reimagine’ the popular Auction Napa Valley.

Collective Napa Valley has been described by Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) as a ‘new and expanded year-round philanthropy programme’. 

Officially announced yesterday (15 June), the initiative has been created following news that the annual Auction Napa Valley event would not take place in 2021 and would also cease to exist in its previous form. It was first held in 1981 and had become a central fixture in the Napa social calendar. 

The first Collective Napa Valley ‘gathering’ will be held from 1 to 5 June in 2022, and will include the Napa Valley Futures Auction among other events, organisers said. 

But the new initiative is also set to involve virtual and in-person events both in California and in international markets at different points in the year. 

Examples range from private winery dinners to online education events, harvest gatherings and ‘vintner-led experiences’, all within a philanthropic lens and with specific fundraising themes and targets. 

‘Our vision with Collective Napa Valley is to expand our wine community and to provide a variety of ways throughout the year to engage Napa Valley wine consumers in our backyard and anywhere in the world,’ said Blakesley Chappellet, co-leader of the Auction Napa Valley reimagining committee.

NVV said organisers of the new programme also wanted to reach out to new partners. 

It said more details of the events being planned, and ‘tiered options’ on how to take part, would be released at a later date. 

‘As with any new undertaking, we expect Collective Napa Valley to grow and evolve over time,’ said Jack Bittner, managing partner at OVID Napa Valley and chairman of NVV. 

‘We are committed to remaining open to new and innovative methods to share our wines and raise funds for the Napa Valley community.’  

An NVV spokesperson said that the separate Premiere Napa Valley auction would continue to be held annually in February, offering one-off lots to trade buyers.

The Premiere 2020 auction was held in June, but will revert to its previous slot in the calendar.

Over the past 40 years, NVV said it had invested more than $200m in community projects.

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