Auction Napa Valley—held over the weekend from May 31 to June 2 at Meadowood Resort Napa Valley—reclaimed its spot as the king of all charity wine auctions, bringing in a whopping $16.9 million for nonprofit organizations throughout Napa County.
It was a commanding return, topping the event’s previous total record of $10.5 million, which was set in 2005 when the auction celebrated its 25th anniversary. This year’s auction also beat out the 2013 Naples Winter Wine Festival, held every January in Florida, which raised approximately $9 million in its live auction.
The tent full of bidders got busy early in the game, starting with Lot 6—a Spottswoode Estate offering of 20 bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon, a three-nights stay at Blackberry Farm in Tennessee and a dinner for 12 at Spottswoode Estate paired with wines from their private cellar library—which had bidders raising their paddles until the winning bid of $280,000 was reached.
Bidding increased from there: It took $300,000 to win Lot 9—a week-long trip for four with Favia Erickson Winegrowers to South Africa, including a two-day safari excursion as well as 10 bottles of wine to take home.
“This was our inaugural lot and we were thrilled to be a part of such an incredible event and humbled by the generosity of so many bidders,” said Annie Favia-Erickson, of Favia Erickson Winegrowers. “It was so great to see folks coming in from around the world to donate to our local causes. The energy level was so high and positive, and hopefully this is a harbinger of things to come,” she said.
These impressive totals paled in comparison to the Harlan Estate’s lot—a first-ever comprehensive vertical tasting of 20 vintages—which brought in $800,000. That was topped by double bids for the Dana Estate lot—six wine bottles paired with a seven-day trip to South Korea—when two bidders each paid $510,000 for the prize.
But the biggest numbers poured in for the Auction’s fund-a-need for Napa County children’s mental and physical health and education. A room full of upraised paddles added up to $3.7 million in pure giving.
Top Live Auction Lots:
• Marvels to Miracles/Fund-a-Need: $3.7 million
• Dana Estate: $1.02 million
• Harlan Estate: $800,000
• Screaming Eagle: $500,000
• Joseph Phelps Vineyards: $450,000
• Darioush: $400,000
• Staglin Family Vineyard: $400,000
• Araujo Estate Wines: $340,000
• Dalla Valle Vineyards: $340,000