Pop star Katy Perry opened Auction Napa Valley this year in grand style, singing several of her hit songs, professing a love for Opus One Cabernet Sauvignon and kicking off a festive day of bidding for charity.
One of the world’s most successful charity wine auctions, Auction Napa Valley has been held at Meadowood in St. Helena since 1981. The annual live auction, in addition to the many events leading up to it, were hosted by a committee of past chairs of the Napa Valley Vintners. This included luminaries from Michael Mondavi and Mike Martini to Bob Trinchero and Emma Swain.
This year’s overall fundraising total is projected to be $12 million, which includes proceeds from the live auction, barrel auction and an online auction. Last year, $13.4 million was raised.
The event marked Napa Valley Vintners’ 75th anniversary, from its early beginnings in 1944 when seven vintners partnered together. Since then, the organization has raised nearly $200 million to date for dozens of Napa County nonprofits.
Things started strong for the 2019 auction, with an opening lot by the Mondavi family’s Continuum Estate that included trips to Rome, Tuscany and Florence and raised $530,000. As this year also marks 100 years of the family’s heritage in the wine industry, owner Tim Mondavi wished to mark the occasion through this donation.
Other notable lots included Opus One’s trip to Paris and a visit to luxury jeweler Van Cleef & Arpels, complete with a custom piece to be designed for the winner during their visit. It sold for $475,000. Rudd Estate’s Right Bank Napa Valley, Right Bank Bordeaux experience earned the auction $340,000.
Dalla Valle offered trips to Utah, Wyoming, Turks and Caicos and the Napa Valley, in addition to two double magnums of its cult Maya and MDV wines. The lot garnered $450,000.
Preceding Saturday’s live auction was a walk-around barrel auction held on Friday in the recently renovated Louis M. Martini Winery in St. Helena, a refreshed landmark of the Napa Valley. Louis M. Martini himself was one of the seven founding members of the Napa Valley Vintners.
Here are this year’s top-earning lots:
Top Live Auctions
2. Napa Valley Vintners: Club 44 75th Anniversary Party
3. Labry Estate, Staglin Family Vineyard, John & Sandi Thompson
5. Opus One
6. Cliff Lede Vineyards *
8. Dalla Valle
10. JCB by Jean-Charles Boisset and Lexus
* tied for 6th place
Top Barrel Auctions
3. The Mascot
8. Paul Hobbs
9. Heitz Cellar
10. Roy Estate
Top Online Auctions
1. HALL Wines