The question on most peoples’ minds after two record-breaking years in a row was whether last weekend’s Auction Napa Valley could do it again. The annual wine charity event came close to setting another all-time mark, raising $15.8 million for nonprofit organizations throughout Napa County.
The event total fell shy of the auction record set in 2014, when it brought in $18.7 million.
The festivities kicked off with a barrel auction on Friday afternoon at Hall Wines in St. Helena, where 2,000 guests previewed mostly 2013 vintage wines in barrel. Lots from Atelier Melka and Realm garnered the most buzz (and dollars), each earning nearly $200,000. The barrel auction accounted for $1.9 million of the event total.
Saturday’s live auction at Meadowood Napa Valley launched with music and a light lunch, with baseball’s all-time home run king, Barry Bonds, mingling amongst the 850 guests.
The Chair’s Lot from honorary auction chair Opus One became the auction’s highest grossing of all time when it was tripled and sold to three bidders, bringing in a total of $2.4 million. Each winner will enjoy a 35-year vertical wine collection of Opus One magnums, plus a two-week tour and visits to some of the most esteemed winery estates in Europe, such as Pol Roger and Vega Sicilia.
But the biggest surprise of the day was a live performance by singer-songwriter John Legend, who performed his hit, “All of Me.” He also helped earn the event $850,000 by auctioning off a 30-person dinner and private performance, in conjunction with Raymond Vineyards.
The excitement continued for several other lots, including $500,000 for a Balthazar of 2012 Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon; $320,000 for four bottles of Colgin Cellars paired with a trip to Italy; $200,000 for five cases of Robert Mondavi Winery To Kalon Cabernet Sauvignon combined with a 2016 Mini Cooper convertible, an updated version of the same car Margrit Mondavi drives and $250,000 for the Schramsberg Vineyards 50th Anniversary Lot, which included a 50-year vertical of its wines.
Top 10 Live Auction Lots
Opus One Chair’s Lot
Napa Valley Vintners: Fund-A-Need
Alejandro Bulgheroni Estate
Chateau Montelena, Joseph Phelps Vineyards and Quintessa
Staglin Family Vineyard
Top 10 Barrel Auction Lots
Spottswoode Estate Vineyard & Winery
Top 10 E-Auction Lots
Grgich Hills Estate
Kapcsandy Family Winery
Beaulieu Vineyard, Sterling Vineyards, Provenance Vineyards, Hewitt Vineyard and Acacia
Sherwin Family Vineyards
Crocker & Starr Wines, Outpost Wines
Clif Family Winery
Gamble Family Vineyards, Gemstone, Saint Helena Winery, Revana Family Vineyard
Dalla Valle Vineyards