Auction Napa Valley Sees Strong Results
Following a trend we saw with the Naples auction earlier this year, Auction Napa Valley was also back up, bringing in a total of $8.51 million. Last year's recession-dimmed sale brought in $5.7 million, a huge dip after 2008's $10.4 million haul. This was the annual event's 30th year and marked a return to the original format of a daytime auction rather than a more formal evening affair.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that one of the hottest items up for bid was a lot of eight magnums of wine plus a private dinner and cellar consultation from Ann Colgin and her husband, Joe Wender, of Colgin Cellars that sold for $250,000. Egged on by the auctioneers, Fritz Hatton and David Reynolds the two vintners quadrupled the lot selling all four slots for a $1 million total. The Fund a Need campaign raised more than $1 million for children's health and wellness programs in Napa County with donations small and large from many of the event's participants.
"I think the auction week might be a metaphor for the economy and the wine industry. It had been unseasonably rainy in the days leading up to the event, with dark clouds looming overhead. But the spirit of the attendees gathering to raise money for charity and celebrate with wine could not be dampened. When it was time to get to the bidding, the sun came out-bidders were happy to be here and were generous," said Bruce Cakebread, president of the NVV's board of directors.
The event took place at Meadowood Napa Valley and was followed by a post-auction dinner with selections from some of America's top female chefs including Suzanne Goin of Lucques, Los Angeles; Suzanne Tracht of Jar, Los Angeles; Carrie Nahabedian of Naha, Chicago; Gina DePalma of Babbo, New York; Elizabeth Pruitt of Tartine, San Francisco; and Melissa Perello of Frances, San Francisco. The party continued on into the night with a performance by 1980s girl band The Bangles.
The world of wine auctions may not be completely back to normal yet but this event did show that the old enthusiasm is still there. Planning has already begun for Auction Napa Valley 2011.