The Napa Valley Vintners’ 38th annual Auction Napa Valley raised $13.6 million for local charities over the weekend, as 2,000 attendees flocked to St. Helena’s Meadowood Napa Valley Resort on Saturday, and the Charles Krug Winery on Friday, to bid on barrels and bottles of top wines as well as parties and international vacations.
The auction benefits local nonprofits that focus on community health and children’s education. Since it began, Auction Napa Valley has raised $180 million for Napa non-profits. Last year, the auction raised $15.7 million.
Angelina, Alycia, Riana and Giovanna Mondavi, the daughters of Marc Mondavi, and the fourth generation of the family that owns the Charles Krug Winery hosted this year’s event, which included two dramatic $1 million bids.
Samantha Rudd, vintner of Rudd Oakville Estate, announced on stage a $1 million gift to the Napa Valley Vintners in honor of her late father, entrepreneur and vintner Leslie Rudd, who died in May.
The second was a $1 million winning bid for a lot that included VIP passes to the U.S. Open Golf Tournament at Pebble Beach in 2019 and 18 magnums of Napa Valley wine.
Among the celebrities in attendance was professional race car driver Danica Patrick, who owns the Howell Mountain-based wine brand Somnium.
The Barrel Auction
Friday’s barrel auction held at Charles Krug Winery, and was action packed with 110 barrel lots vying for the top spot. In the end, the winner was VGS Chateau Potelle’s inaugural barrel of 2016 Fourmeaux, a Bordeaux blend from Mount Veeder. It brought in $114,300, or $952.50 per bottle for its 10-case lot. Each bidder wins one of the 12-bottle cases.
“[Winemaker] Kale [Anderson] and I were pouring, and after two hours people were coming back and saying, ‘this is the best wine of the show,’” said Jean-Noel Fourmeaux, owner of VGS Chateau Potelle. “We knew that consumers were endorsing the high quality of the wine. And in the last 30 minutes, the bids flew from $5,250 to $20,000 with the last three bids in two minutes.”
The top winning bidders were Bruce and Jennifer Adams from Louisiana, regular auction attendees.
“Jean-Noel Fourmeaux has been a friend of my family for a long time,” said Bruce Adams. “To contribute to the success of his newest luxury brand, Fourmeaux, is a pleasure and it serves a great cause.”
“The world has been incredibly generous to our community the past nine months and that amazing spirit continued this weekend,” said David Pearson, Napa Valley Vintners Board of Directors Chair and CEO of Opus One Winery. He was referring to last October’s deadly wildfires. The largest wildfire in California’s history was officially declared extinguished on Friday, nearly six months after it erupted.