Saturday's Premiere Napa Valley in St. Helena raised $2.7 million for the Napa Valley Vintners.
The event took place in front of the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone and simultaneously online with groups of bidders around the world holding their own gatherings. Some in Hong Kong began their bidding to cups of coffee at 4 a.m. while others in the United Kingdom stayed up past midnight to close out the auction.
A total of 3,700 bids were placed, leading to $2.7 million raised by those hoping to take home the unique wines produced for Premiere.
“We were blown away by the enthusiasm and generous support of our trade partners," said Linda Reiff, president and CEO of Napa Valley Vintners. "It was the best possible way to come together again after being apart for so long. The support shown was deeply meaningful and is an extraordinary example of the shared sense of enthusiasm and optimism we all have for Napa Valley’s future. We are over the moon and couldn’t be more pleased."
Bidders from around the world were active throughout the auction, taking home 149 lots that were handcrafted and donated by 153 wineries. Successful bidders were both in the room and online.
“We were hopeful to engage more wine trade around the world and we achieved that," said Stacey Dolan Capitani, vice president of marketing at Napa Valley Vintners. "The team at Zachys did an amazing job of involving the bidders from both audiences."
Among the top lots were wines donated by Shafer Vineyards, a joint lot by Corison Winery, Dyer Vineyard, Gallica and Snowden Vineyards, Memento Mori, Dana Estates, Spottswoode Estate Vineyard & Winery, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, ZD Wines, Favia, Silver Oak, BRAND Napa Valley and Robert Mondavi Winery.
Nearly 250 trade accounts participated from more than 12 countries and 37 U.S. states. Of those registered, only 60 attended in person. In addition, more than 1,000 wine trade and consumers joined in the virtual vintage discussions leading up to the final auction.
“We are thankful to all those who joined us here in the valley and virtually from their hometowns," Reiff said. "It was the first Napa Valley industry event to take place in-person since the pandemic. It was wonderful to see our wineries, restaurants and hotels full and our businesses thriving."
Among successes counted this year was the debut of the 2019 vintage. On the heels of the incredible 2018 vintage, the wines from 2019 brought in an even higher average bottle price over last year’s auction. Many in the wine trade gave praise for the elegance, brightness and balance in the vintage winemakers describe as a dream.
The Napa Valley Vintners completed two successful fundraising events for its organization this year. In total, $3.7 million was raised for efforts to promote, protect and enhance its region. In February, the NVV’s new Library Wine Auction was held during what would have been Premiere’s traditional date. Due to the pandemic, the NVV separated out the two endeavors, moving the Premiere auction to June for one year only so that some trade would be able to travel to Napa.
Premiere Napa Valley is scheduled to return the week of Feb. 21-26, 2022. It will again be a hybrid in-person/virtual event.