Honorary Chairs // Auction Napa Valley
Philanthropy in Napa Valley
The Araujo family’s service as honorary chairs of Auction Napa Valley 2020 and 2021 is more than fitting. It was as guests at the 1989 auction, then titled ‘Napa Valley Wine Auction,’ that Daphne and Bart decided to move their family to Napa from their Santa Barbara home. Overwhelmed by the graciousness of Valley residents and vintners, and by the auction itself, the event proved the catalyst in their relocation. Within a year, they had purchased three vineyard properties. And within four years, they had produced and released their first Auction Napa Valley live auction wine lot. And they’ve been involved ever since. “We’ve always hosted a dinner, the sort of small group event that made a marked impression on us the first time we attended,” said Daphne. “That’s always our favorite part.”
Sponsored by the Napa Valley Vintners (NVV), Auction Napa Valley combines the region’s iconic scenery with vintner hospitality, culinary creativity, and the chance for bidders to acquire rare collections of Napa Valley wine. Over its 40-year history, the event has raised and donated more than $200 million to 25 local nonprofits and strategic initiatives that emphasize prevention and early intervention in the areas of community health and children’s education. And despite its 2020 cancellation, NVV has pledged to make donations from their rainy day reserve fund equal to last year’s giving in order to maintain services and respond to arising new needs.
Daphne, Bart, and their children Greg and Jaime, who serve as brand ambassadors for the family’s Accendo Cellars, certainly had not planned on serving two years as honorary chairs of the world’s most celebrated charity wine event. But when COVID-19 necessitated the cancellation of the June 2020 fete, they readily signed-on to continue their leadership through the June 2021 reschedule date.
“Much of the work has been done,” said Daphne, who has also served for 20 years on the St. Helena Hospital board. “What remains to be seen is how this experience has changed the way the country behaves, how we do business, and how we move forward within the new normal.” As chairs, she and her family are extremely hands-on, working to fill the various committee chair roles, overseeing vintner relations, and inspiring trusted friends to get involved in leadership roles. “Bart, Greg, Jaime, and I each felt strongly that we wanted to truly make a difference,” said Daphne, who cites that more than 100,000 Napa citizens are positively affected by the auction’s proceeds. “The Napa Valley is an interdependent community, and we, the vintners and growers, support much of the area’s commerce.
We have a responsibility to the vineyard workers, the hospitality industry, and the community at large; they depend on us.”
Article By: Fran Miller