The Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) trade association announced that this year’s Auction Napa Valley has raised $14.3 million for children’s education and community health nonprofits during a weekend of feverish bidding and Latin-infused fun at the annual celebration of the best of America’s leading wine region.
Over the course of four days, guests experienced vintner-hosted dinners and parties, the crowd-pleasing Napa Valley Barrel Auction at the iconic Robert Mondavi Winery, spellbinding live-fire cooking by South America’s renowned Chef Francis Mallmann, the confetti-infused Live Auction Celebration and dancing to a 30-piece Cuban band.
“Thrilled doesn’t begin to describe how pleased we are with the results of this weekend’s Auction Napa Valley,” noted Emma Swain, chair of the NVV’s board of directors and CEO of St. Supéry Estate Vineyards & Winery. “We are immensely grateful to our vintners, guests and volunteers for their amazing outpouring of generosity that will directly benefit so many of our neighbors in need.”
To date, the NVV has given more than $150 million in Auction proceeds to Napa County nonprofits serving more than 100,000 clients annually.
Vintner Generosity Sparks Lively Bidding
Inside the white air-cooled main tent during Saturday’s Live Auction, brisk bidding on remarkable Napa Valley wines and unique experiences was further enhanced when vintner members of the NVV doubled and tripled their lots, offered matching cash donations and raised their own paddles during the Fund-a-Need lot. Barbara Banke of Jackson Family Wines was the top Fund-a-Need donor, contributing $500,000.
Cool Time on a Hot Day
Friday’s hot temperatures did nothing to dampen the festive conviviality at the Napa Valley Barrel Auction, hosted at Robert Mondavi Winery, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Guests refreshed themselves in the cool cellar while sampling and bidding on limited-offering Napa Valley wines from the highly touted 2013, 2014 and 2015 vintages. Outside, misters and fans allowed sun-hatted attendees to enjoy more than 100 current release wines while nibbling on bites from more than 40 of Napa Valley’s most talented chefs.
Fire on the Fairway
On Saturday, guests arrived at the manicured fairway at Meadowood Napa Valley to the captivating spectacle of live-fire cooking by renowned South American Chef Francis Mallmann. Racks of rib eye and whole chickens hung over flames and embers like Calder mobiles, while root vegetables cooked underground in fire pits lined with hot rocks and grapevine leaves.
“We showed our guests how much fun it is to be part of Auction Napa Valley,” noted Agustin F. Huneeus, honorary chair of this year’s event, 20 years after his father held the same mantle as chair of the 1996 Auction. “From the amazing asado prepared by Chef Francis Mallmann and served with delicious Napa Valley wines, to the late night dancing to Los Van Van, a 30-piece Cuban band, a great time was had by all in support of great causes in our community.”
The next Auction Napa Valley is June 1-4, 2017. The Coppola family of Inglenook will serve as honorary chairs of the event. Tickets go on sale at the beginning of February 2017. NVL