Napa Valley Auction, June 3-6
Auction Napa Valley celebrates its 30th anniversary June 3-6. Hosted by the Napa Valley Vintners, a non-profit trade organization representing nearly 400 Napa Valley wineries, this four-day gala is not only the world's most successful charity wine auction, it is also the most fun. Beginning with casual, intimate dinners with host vintners in their homes and wineries Thursday night, it ends Sunday with a "Farewell Fête." Friday is a day to meander through a food and wine festival at the Rubicon Estate where more than 100 wineries will be pouring wines. Local restaurateurs and artisan food producers will showcase their specialties. You will also have a chance to taste and bid on wines from the barrel in the rousing Barrel Auction inside the winery's caves.
The main event is Saturday, held on the fairways at Meadowood Napa Valley Resort in St. Helena. This is the event everyone looks forward to beginning with canapés and wine on the lawn and a walk-around tasting lunch prepared by a dozen top male chefs.
After lunch, the high-rollers bid for 41 over-the-top lots including an elusive and rare bottle of Screaming Eagle or a package of wine and travel with the Staglin family that could go for $500,000 or more. Winners will go home with trips to Pebble Beach with unlimited golf and club access and all the trimmings you might expect--- lunches, dinners, limos, wine tours, and the use of a yacht for four days. Another lot consists of five nights in New York for two couples, dinners, art tours, Yankees tickets, and four nights for two couples in Los Cabos. One estimate is that bidding for one of these luxury trips could go as high as one-million dollars.
After the auction, the fun continues Saturday night with a gala dinner presented by star women chefs, followed by dancing al fresco to the music of the all-girls-band, The Bangles of "Walk Like an Egyptian" fame.
This four-day food, wine, partying extravaganza has given $90 million for community health clinics in the Napa Valley. A small region, Napa Valley is credited with only four percent of California's wine production but the roughly 400 member wineries, 600 volunteers and their partners celebrate in a big way donating all the lots that are sold at the various auctions.
In total, there are 150 E-auction lots that anyone around the world can bid on online, 100 Barrel Auctions, and 41 Live Action lots featuring luxury travel and wine collections. The four-day full package tickets are $2,500 per person; three-day packages are $1,000. To learn more, www.NapaVintners.com.