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No Auction Napa Valley 2021 as organisers plan revamp

The charity wine event, a key fixture in the region’s social calendar for 40 years, won’t take place in 2021 to allow organisers to work on a new concept, it has been announced.

Auction Napa Valley normally takes place in June each year, but organisers have said they will use 2021 to ‘dream up and create a completely new platform for giving’.

Event host Napa Valley Vintners said that both it and the auction’s board of directors had decided to wrap-up the charity sale in its current format.

Auction Napa Valley has been running since 1981, when it was founded by a group of winemakers including Robert and Margrit Mondavi.

High-profile and wealthy guests have flocked to the event held at the Meadowood Napa Valley resort, bidding on an eclectic mix of lots involving luxury food, wine and travel experiences offered in partnership with wineries.

Singer Katy Perry provided a live soundtrack to the 2019 auction weekend, which raised nearly $12m. ‘Put simply, it is one of the most fun wine parties in the world,’ said Decanter contributor Elin McCoy, reporting from the event.

The auction was cancelled in 2020 due to the coronavirus epidemic.

‘Pausing our auction due to the global pandemic allowed us time to reflect on all we have achieved and gave us the space to envision what our future might look like,’ said Robin Baggett, chairman of Napa Valley Vintners’ board of directors.

More than $200m of auction proceeds have been given to community services and care in the past four decades, said NVV.

The trade body said ‘reserve funds’ will be released to continue supporting community initiatives in 2021. Beyond that, the group said it remained dedicated to the auction’s mission, ‘to leverage Napa Valley’s world-class wines to care for the community’.

‘When enjoying your next bottle of Napa Valley wine, we hope you will join us in raising a glass to 40 great years of success and to the great things to come in the next 40 years,’ said Beth Novak Milliken, secretary/treasurer of the Napa Valley Vintners board. Novak Milliken is also president and CEO at Spottswoode winery.

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