Approximately 500 guests came to Raymond Vineyards on Feb. 20 as Jean-Charles Boisset hosted his annual Napa Gras Masquerade party. It’s the fourth year that Boisset has hosted this grand Mardi Gras style bash at Raymond during the Napa Valley Vintners’ “Premiere Week.”
This year the Burgundy-born vintner greeted guests from his perch on a bright red aerial performance swing near the entrance, while his staff handed out glittering masks and glasses of his JCB No. 21 sparkling wine. The theme, “burlesque,” inspired fanciful and often lavish costumes, and guests strolled through the winery tasting Raymond wines, trying their luck at games provided by Atomic Casino and sampling the fare from Mark’s the Spot Fine Foods, and Napa Valley Crust.
According to Boisset, Napa Gras is no mere gala, but “a celebration of life, a moment that transcends the traditional, invokes memories of Carnival celebrations from across the world, and is the union of art, music, wine and decadence — it is an event to inspire exclusively for Premiere Napa Valley wine trade guests.”
The following day at the Premiere Napa Valley barrel tasting and auction, Raymond Vineyards’ lot brought in a winery-record $30,000 for five cases, or $500 per bottle, contributing to the record-breaking $6 million raised at the 19th annual Premiere Napa Valley barrel tasting and auction.