On June 7, wine lovers from Napa Valley and beyond gathered to bid on lots and enjoy industry culture at the 34th annual Auction Napa Valley event. But don't mistake this crowd for a bunch of lushes – proceeds from the event were donated to various charities in the Napa area, and totaled a record-breaking $18.7 million, up more than 10 percent from the auction 2013 numbers.
Prior to Auction Napa Valley, industry insiders, winos, vintners and charity workers enjoyed numerous wine-related parties and events. From jazz music to wine tastings, it was a busy weekend for attendees of the auction. It wasn't until about 2 p.m. on Saturday, though, that things really started to heat up.
Important lots and bids
The highest bid of the evening came in at $840,000 and included tickets to a private Oscars party thrown by Jean Charles-Boisset, president of Boisset Family Estates and owner of Raymond Vineyards. Two bidders took home the contents at a rate of $240,000 each.
Coming in second was a lot that included a tasting of six decades' worth of wines from Mayacamas Vineyards. In addition, the winning bidders (this lot was also doubled) secured two dinners for 12 people, a magnum of 1964 cab and a vacation for six couples to the Mount Veeder Mayacamas estate.
Winos weren't the only crowd that stood to gain from the auction – sports fans, too, had lots to bid on. One lucky participant paid $420,000 for four tickets to the 2016 Super Bowl, which is set to take place in Santa Clara (home to the San Francisco 49ers). But the lot didn't end with tickets to the big game – the winner will also enjoy admission to the NFL commissioner's pre-Bowl Party, as well as wines from Casa Piena.
Finally, the event included plenty of international flare. One lucky bidder paid $400,000 for a 10-day New Zealand wine country excursion. The winner's trip will include airfare, fine dining in both Napa Valley and New Zealand, magnums of Pritchard Hill cab and, of course, lodging.
The greater good
This event was all about sniffing and swirling – proceeds from the auction benefited Napa Valley residents. The top recipient of funds from the auction was Clinic Ole, a nonprofit organization that provides medical assistance to 1 in 6 Napa Valley residents. Other nonprofits tied to the event aim to provide assistance to youth and affordable housing services.
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