Cesare and Rosa Mondavi came to St. Helena and in 1943 bought the Napa Valley’s oldest bonded winery, Charles Krug Winery, established in 1861. The inspiration of that history, embodied by the Mondavi sisters of the Peter Mondavi Sr. family, will be on view this weekend at the 38th annual Auction Napa Valley.

Honorary chairs of the charity food and wine classic, based at Charles Krug Winery and Meadowood Napa Valley Resort, are Alycia, Angelina, Riana and Giovanna Mondavi, great-granddaughters of Cesare and Rosa. The four sisters, in their 20s and 30s, are the youngest honorary chairs of Auction Napa Valley in its history.

With the proceeds from Auction Napa Valley, the Napa Valley Vintners has given away $180 million to community health and children’s education nonprofits throughout the Napa Valley. Of that amount, $68 million has been awarded to those nonprofits in the past five years.

Last year, Auction Napa Valley raised $15.7 million; the largest amount raised was $18.7 million in 2014. The first year of Auction Napa Valley, in 1981, the event raised $140,000. The first million-dollar lot was sold in 2003, when the event chairs, the Trinchero family, augmented the winning bid to reach the $1 million mark.

The three-day event features private, vintner-hosted parties on Thursday, May 31; the Napa Valley Barrel Auction and an outdoor food and wine marketplace on Friday, June 1 at Charles Krug Winery; and the Live Auction Celebration on Saturday, June 2, held as always at Meadowood Napa Valley Resort in St. Helena. The event is sold out, with different experiences ranging from $500 to $4,000 per person. A VIP experience for the weekend, also sold out, sold for $20,000 per couple.

Tickets for an after-auction party at The Charter Oak on Saturday night were available Tuesday for $150 per person.

Honoring family

Last week, Alycia and Angelina Mondavi spoke about their family, including their great-grandmother, Rosa. She was a famed cook in the Napa Valley and her old-world Italian dishes, including robin rossetta, were well-known, both in her family and in the Napa Valley. The Mondavi sisters will pay tribute to their great-grandmother, with help from chefs Holly Peterson and Nancy Oakes, by creating and serving variations of her dishes on Saturday night, after the live auction ends.

The Mondavi family has two live lots that will be auctioned off Saturday and one of them also pays tribute to the 75 years of Mondavi family history with a historic reunion with the third and fourth-generation family members of both the Peter Sr. and Robert Mondavi families. The lot includes 24 bottles of wine, Cabernet Sauvignons made by the family, including Aloft, Fourth Leaf, M by Michael Mondavi, Charles Krug Vintage Selection; and red wine from Napa Valley’s Continuum; two days in late October of winery tours and private tastings and a reunion dinner by Morton’s The Steakhouse to be held at Charles Krug Winery.

Live auction

The live auction includes 32 lots, many of them extravagant trips and wine experiences throughout the world, all of them include Napa Valley wines, including one lot with rare and cult wines, three-liter bottles of 1992 vintage Paradigm Winery Cabernet Sauvignon and 1992 Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon, both made by Heidi Barrett from Oakville vineyards. Ren and Marilyn Harris, who have owned Paradigm since 1975 are “offering this lot as a thank you and testament to the hundreds of family members, friends, employees and customers who have helped them lead a wonderfully charmed life over the last 50 years in the world of wine in Napa Valley,” according to the auction catalog.

In 2000, attendee Chase Bailey bids $500,000 for a single, six-liter bottle of 1992 Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon, smashing previous world records for the price paid for a single bottle of wine, according to the Napa Valley Vintners.

Auctioneers for the live auction are Humphrey Butler and Ursula Hermacinski.

E-Auction offers wine, experiences

The Mondavi sisters have spent the past 30 months preparing to be chairs of the event, with Alycia serving as chair of the E-Auction for the past two years and talking to their clients, friends and customers when they were out on the road selling their family’s wine brands.

This year, the E-Auction includes more than 250 lots of Napa Valley wines, wine futures, culinary and hospitality adventures. Bidding began on Sunday and the online auction will close at mid-day on Sunday.

On Tuesday, one bidder was willing to spend $10,000, the highest of 83 bids, for three 3-liter bottles of 2014 Aubert Chardonnay, made with grapes grown in the Hudson Vineyard, the Sugar Shack Estate and the vineyards owned by Larry Hyde & Sons.

One of the many experiences was celebrating 128 years of the Nichelini Family Winery with 24 bottles of wine, a winery tour and tasting with lunch for four and a wine education experience with fifth-generation winemaker Aimee Sunseri. Eighteen bids had been made, with the top bid of $1,000.

Interested bidders can visit auctionnapavalley.org to register.

Friday’s Napa Valley Barrel Auction in the Redwood Cellar at Charles Krug Winery offers 110 lots of Napa Valley wine futures and an outdoor food and wine marketplace, designed to replicate the Napa Valley. It will include more than a dozen Napa Valley restaurants serving picnic-size portions, paired with wines from throughout the valley – from Calistoga to Carneros. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, June 1, e-bidders can also bid for the 110 barrel auction lots.

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St. Helena Star Editor

David Stoneberg is the editor of the St. Helena Star, an award-winning weekly newspaper. Prior to joining the Star in 2006, he worked for the Lake County Record-Bee, the Clear Lake Observer American, the Middletown Times Star, The Weekly Calistogan and st