How’d you like to have a new home designed by Howard Backen, one of the foremost contemporary architects in the United States?

Maybe, you’d consider accepting a walk-on role in a new film chronicling the infamous Judgment or Paris.

Imagine touring the grape-growing region of Burgundy in France with Margrit Mondavi and winemaker Genevieve Janssens.

What about taking the keys to a restored 1957 Chevy Corvette?

Someone is going to earn the right to all the above and a lot more by bidding high on 48 Napa Valley Vintner-generated lots at the 34th annual Auction Napa Valley on Saturday.

Those lots, along with an auctioneer’s plea to contribute to a Fund-A-Need campaign, constitute the drawing power of the annual charity wine auction slated to unfold in a giant white tent on the Meadowood Resort fairway Saturday afternoon.

Along with trips to Switzerland, Israel, China, Italy and France, a lot of rare Napa Valley wine will be on the auction block as well Saturday afternoon.

The most unconventional offering comes from the owners of Ovid Napa Valley. Included with a rare double magnum of Ovid’s red wine blend is the offer of renowned architect Howard Backen to create a conceptual design for a new residence, remodel of an existing residence, or one or the other for a winery operation.

Another lot that should see spirited bidding is a trip to Burgundy for two couples, guided by Margrit Mondavi and the Robert Mondavi Winery’s director of winemaking, Genevieve Janssens. In addition to visits to a couple of chateaus in the Cote de Nuits, the ladies will provide an in-depth exploration of Pommard and Meursault, complete with a farewell celebration at a three-star Michelin restaurant. Round-trip business class airfare is included, along with two dozen bottles of chardonnay, pinot noir and cabernet sauvignon from the Oakville cellar.

Football fans are sure to clash over the Casa Piena lot, provided by winery owner Carmen Policy and his wife, Gail. The Casa Piena auction package includes four tickets to Super Bowl L in 2016, set for the new Levi’s Stadium, new home of the San Francisco 49ers. The former president and CEO of the 49ers will invite the high bidder and guests to the NFL Commissioner’s Party the Friday before the game and provide four nights lodging in San Francisco. The Policys will also host the two couples in Napa.

Collectors are sure to battle royal over the wine lot being offered by respected vintner and hotelier Bill Harlan. He’s about to market a new brand, Promontory, which he says is “a vivid expression of cabernet sauvignon” from the western hills in Oakville adjacent to Harlan Estate and Bond. High bidder will receive the first case of the first 10 vintages of Promontory, 2009-2018. Also included is an invitation to the celebration for the inaugural release of Promontory, a vineyard tour and the offer to return to the winery for lunch or dinner with 30 guests.

A lollapalooza from Raymond Vineyards’ Jean-Charles Boisset focuses on Hollywood. The high bidder and his or her guest will be flown in a private jet from San Francisco to Los Angeles to attend the Weinstein Company’s Oscars after party. Tickets for the award telecast are not included. However, the successful bidder and 15 friends will attend a screening of a new Weinstein film prior to its release, be feted at dinner, then invited to the film’s premiere — first class airfare and accommodations included. The lot also includes a salmanazar and three double magnums of Generations cabernet sauvignon.

Celebrating the 100th birth year of founder Peter Mondavi Sr., the Charles Krug lot includes three nights’ accommodations for two couples at The Savoy in London, in order for them and members of the Mondavi family to enjoy a private viewing of the Crown Jewels and the Ceremony of the Keys in the Tower of London. Lunch and dinner, a McLaren luxury car excursion, an original 100 diamond Star of Africa pendant designed by Lita Asscher and a salmanazar of 2012 cabernet sauvignon are also included.

Not only is Colgin Cellars offering four hard-to-come-by double magnums of cabernet sauvignon, a cab blend and syrah, partners Ann Colgin and Joe Wender have offered to buy out either The French Laundry or chef/owner Thomas Keller’s New York equivalent, Per Se, for the high bidder and up to 49 additional guests.

In addition to golf and dinner at Mayacama Golf Club and large format bottles of its wine, Vineyard 7 & 8 will provide the high bidder with a rare, professionally restored 1957 Chevy Corvette.

For the first time at the valley’s acclaimed wine auction, a vintner is offering a lot that will familiarize one couple with the high level of sophistication achieved by Israeli wineries. The couple will be flown business class to Tel Aviv, Israel, by Melanie and Pascal Levensohn, of Levensohn Vineyards, in order to enjoy a three day tour of Israeli wine operations. Also included are accommodations, a tour of Jerusalem and a harvest dinner for six at Levensohn Vineyards.

Napa Valley Vintners have put together several choice lots as well:

  • Including business class airfare, a tour of Switzerland that includes lodging and a visit to the Vaud wine region. Dinner for the group of four and a Glacier Express train to the Gantenbein Winery are also included.
  • A Polaris Gem electric vehicle and 400 bottles of Napa Valley still and sparkling wine.
  • A 14 night voyage for four aboard The World, the largest privately owned residential mega-yacht in the world, plus dinner for 20 at Bella Oaks Vineyard with the Staglin family, chairs of last year’s auction.
  • A walk-on role in the new film, “Judgment of Paris,” a three-night stay for one couple in the Fay cottage at Stags Leap Wine Cellars, dinner with screenwriter Robert Mark Kamen, a cellar tour and three imperials of SLV cabernet sauvignon (2008-2010).
  • One year membership for one couple to Napa Valley Reserve, a night’s lodging at Meadowood Resort and a welcome dinner with Hollywood stars Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis.
  • Tickets for two to the 2015 Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta in the British Virgin Islands, business class airfare, lodging and meals, along with 36 magnums of wine.

The chair’s lot — provided by the two couples heading up the 2014 auction, Kary and David Duncan, Valerie and Jeff Gargiulo — is billed as “the quintessential American adventure.” The high bidder and seven friends will meet up with the Duncans and Gargiulos at Diamond Tail Ranch in Colorado for horseback riding, fishing and hunting. The lot also includes four custom-made Fender guitars, hunting and fishing gear, all meals prepared by chef/restaurateur Charlie Palmer and entertainment by Grammy Award winning artist Billy Dean and singer/songwriter Radney Foster.

Lokoya has teamed up with Australia’s McLaren Vale for a trip to Australia, including visits to the renowned winery, Sydney, Kangaroo Island, helicopter tour of the Adelaide wine country, meals, business class airfare for two and 16 bottles of cabernet sauvigon made from fruit grown on Diamond Mountain, Spring Mountain, Howell Mountain and Mount Veeder.

Chappellet Vineyard has put together a lot that features a 10-day trip to New Zealand wine country. It includes lodging and business class airfare for two couples, 10 dinners in New Zealand and dinner for 24 in the Napa Valley. The lot also includes four double magnums of Pritchard Hill cabernet sauvignon.

Blackbird Vineyards is offering a Kentucky Derby experience for one couple that includes accommodations, his and her hats, transportation and three imperials of red wine blends.

Shafer Vineyards’ lot features a seven day VIP experience for four at next year’s Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta, Ga., private dinner for eight at the winery as well as magnums, double magnums and imperials of Hillside Select cabernet sauvignon.

Hall Vineyards will provide a successful bidder and friend with stays in the Napa Valley and Rome, along with business class airfare, a Rome tour, plus half of the cost of a custom piece of Bulgari jewelry.

B Cellars will host two couples on an insiders excursion of the Alaskan wilderness, including fishing gear and clothing, private excursions that include ocean fishing, stream fishing and all terrain vehicle exploration, plus 14 bottles of cabernet sauvignon.

Newton Vineyard will host two couples in the Napa Valley, at the Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong and at Moet Hennessy’s Shangri-La Winery in the remote Diquing Prefecture of China. Two dozen bottles of wine will also go to the successful bidder.

Hill Family Estate will send two couples to the taping of “The Voice” and “Access Hollywood,” provide three nights lodging at Montage Beverly Hills and host a wine dinner for four at Jacobson Orchards in Yountville, prepared by SPQR chef Matthew Accorino.

Gemstone will send the high bidder and three friends to New York on a private jet to attend “America’s Got Talent,” a hit Broadway show, a performance at Juilliard School of Music and enjoy dinner at Thomas Keller’s Per Se.

Jones Family Vineyard is set to offer high bidder and guest a 21-day guest pass at Exclusive Resorts, the world’s leading luxury travel and vacation club, and 21 magnums of cabernet sauvignon.

Celebrating four decades of its prized Cask 23 Bordeaux blend, Stags Leap Wine Cellars will present the successful bidder with both magnums and double magnums dating back to the ‘70s, an opportunity to attend the VIP opening of its new visitor center and a dinner for 10 in the wine caves with winemaker Marcus Notaro.

Tickets for two to the Cannes Film Festival and the Napa Valley Film Festival, plus lodging in Cannes, business class airfare and his and her Chopard watches will be the successful bidder’s treasure provided by Alpha Omega Winery.

Hestan Vineyards will provide four couples a six day Mediterranean cruise, or a cruise touring the ancient Lycian coast of Turkey, plus 10 magnums of cabernet sauvignon.

Plumpjack and Cade will send two couples to Tuscany and also host them in Squaw Valley, including meals, accommodations and tours.

J. Davies Estate and Schramsberg have planned a weeklong holiday in Germany’s Bavaria, with lodging for two couples at Schloss Elmau, business class airfare and a dinner at Schramsberg. Also included is a collection of 34 bottles of still and sparkling wine.

Teri and Ron Kuhn, of Pillar Rock Vineyard, will invite the high bidder and three guests to the Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance, host dinner the Pebble Beach Club and provide two nights lodging. A dozen bottles of Pillar Rock cabernet sauvignon are also part of the lot.

Staglin Family Vineyard is offering the ultimate baseball experience — attendance for four at a Giants game in San Francisco plus a game in the home stadium of the New York Mets. The lots also includes a tour of the Baseball Hall of Fame, dinners in Cooperstown and New York, a celebrity chef dinner at Staglin Family Vineyard and two double magnums of cabernet sauvignon.

(1) comment

sonofa
sonofa

well, you did a good job of shilling for the napa wine auction.

But why do you call the judgment of Paris infamous?
Certainly wonderful, not infamous if you favor California wines. Maybe infamous if you are a French partisan. Really?

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