Another sign that people are back to spending on luxury goods was the record-breaking result at the 15th annual Napa Valley Vinters wine futures auction to the trade over the weekend. The event, which brought together a crowd of around 1,000 vintners, retailers, restaurateurs and others, brought in nearly $2.4 million, beating 2008's record-setting $2.2 million bidding on rare and highly desirable wine lots.
The event at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St Helena beat last year's take by more than 23%. A total of 68 successful bidders purchased 1530 cases at an average case price of $1546, a 37% increase over the recession-stressed take of 2009 and 20% more than 2010. A record was also set for a single lot. A Japanese wine company paid $125,000 for five cases of Scarecrow Wine, easily beating the record of $80,000 set in 2007. For wholesalers, retailers and restaurant owners the auction is a chance to buy wines from top wineries that are often hard to acquire. Other top lots of the day include Schrader Cellars, Ovid, Levy and McClellan, Shafer Vineyards, Robert Mondavi Winery and Reynolds Family.