Auction Napa Valley 2014 Sets New Record
The results are in: Auction Napa Valley is the undisputed champion of charity wine auctions for earning a record-breaking $18.7 million over the weekend—a remarkable step up from last year’s impressive $16.9 million.
The annual event, held at Meadowood Resort Napa Valley in sunny St. Helena, raised money for a variety of nonprofit organizations throughout Napa County, including Fund-a-Need, which targets education, health and family stability programs for Napa children. The 2014 auction raised $3.8 million for that organization alone.
The weekend’s festivities kicked off with a successful barrel auction on Friday, June 6, at the newly renovated Charles Krug Winery, which featured primarily 2012 vintage wines. On Saturday, some 1,000 people gathered at Meadowood for a day of sipping and big bidding.
The generous tone was set early on when the Raymond Vineyards’s lot—a VIP night out at the Oscars with Jean-Charles Boisset and his producer pal Harvey Weinstein—was doubled. Each bidder spent $420,000 for the experience.
Mayacamas Vineyards, purchased by Charles Banks last year, offered an incredible collection of wine, including a magnum from 1964 and jeroboams from 1978, 1989, 1997, 2002 and 2013 as well as a six-decade vertical tasting and dinners at the historic property prepared by Blackberry Farms's chef Joseph Lenn. The bid, also doubled, raised $660,000.
The Colgin Cellars lot—four double magnums and a dinner for 50 at either the French Laundry or Per Se—did well, too, selling for $340,000.
Things further escalated when Araujo Estate Wines’s lot—which included one imperial of wine, lunch and accommodations at the Araujo Estate in Napa, and a visit to Bordeaux featuring lunch for six at Château Latour—was sold for a whopping $520,000.
It was the lot to beat, and only Bill Harlan’s Promontory lot could do so: He auctioned off an unreleased Cabernet Sauvignon for a jaw-dropping $600,000. The bidder earned the right to be its first patron, first in line to receive a double magnum of the first five vintages (2009–2013) and a case of each of the first 10 bottled.
Top Live Auction Lots
• Raymond Vineyards: $840,000
• Mayacamas Vineyards: $660,000
• Promontory: $600,000
• Napa Valley Vintners and Lexus: $580,000
• Opus One: $550,000
• Araujo Estate Wines: $520,000
• Darioush and Robb Report Magazine: $440,000
• Casa Piena: $420,000
• Chappellet Vineyard: $410,000
Chef and Vintner Michael Chiarello feeds a hungry crowd before the auction kicks off.
Rob Mondavi celebrates with the winning bidders of the Ovid Napa Valley lot, which includes a Howard Backen conceptual architecture design.
Actor and Vintner Kyle MacLachlan takes in the auction.
Wine Enthusiast’s Lifestyle and Entertaining Editors Jeff Jenssen (far left) and Mike DeSimone (far right) with Executive Editor Susan Kostrzewa (center left), huddling around winemaker Gina Gallo for a snapshot.
Jean-Charles Boisset, owner of Raymond Vineyards, shows off his stylishly colorful auction outfit.
Peter Mondavi, Jr. totes finished bottles.
An auction attendee raises his paddle.
Confetti explodes in the arena when news of reaching $10.5 million is announced.
The Fund-a-Need charity drew more than $3 million in bids, including one from Vintner Delia Viader (#57).