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Napa Valley Vintners Barrel Auction sells out; online bidding begins May 30

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Napa Valley Barrel Auction

From left, State Assembly member Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, State Senator Bill Dodd and Rep. Mike Thompson hand out wine glasses to arriving guests at a past the Napa Valley Vintners' barrel auction. The new Collective Napa Valley Barrel Auction on June 3 is sold out but opens to online bidders on May 30. 

Tickets to the Napa Valley Vintners Barrel Auction have sold out with 1,500 expected to attend the first Collective Napa Valley live event taking place at Raymond Vineyards in St. Helena on June 3.

On May 30, however, online bidding begins for the 75 barrel lots, opening to wine enthusiasts anywhere in the world through napa.sothebys.com/lots.

For many wineries, the Barrel Auction will be the first showing of their 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon of which there are 44 lots. Other varieties include Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Franc, Merlot,  Malbec and red wine blends, all currently aging in the barrel. Each winery has donated 10 cases of these yet-to-be released wines.

The Barrel Auction is the first in-person event of the new Collective Napa Valley, which the Vintners created to replace the annual wine auction, which since 1984 raised millions of dollars that came back to non-profit organizations in the valley. The new Collective will host a year-round series of events, including a harvest dinner and auction in the fall.

The goal of the Collective is "a year-round philanthropy program that brings people together to enjoy Napa Valley wines while raising funds for the good of its community," according to the Napa Valley Vintners press release. "Throughout the year, members will engage with vintners and explore the region through a variety of programs and events online and in person."

The Barrel Auction weekend’s activities also include vintner-hosted events and a grand celebration to recognize Collective Napa Valley non-profit partners. On June 4, a Napa Valley Vine Trail Walk and Ride beginning at 10:30 a.m., is followed by the community celebration, which is open to the public and free to attend from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Yountville's Veterans Memorial Park on Washington Street. It will include games, food trucks and, of course, wine tastings.

Funds raised during the Collective Napa Valley Barrel Auction weekend will go toward caring for children’s mental health and wellbeing through the expansion of wellness center programming on Napa County school campuses. These centers, unique to the needs of each school, provide on-campus access to individual and group counseling, substance abuse prevention, bully prevention programs and more.

“As a community of wine lovers and people who care about Napa Valley, we are excited to come together once again to raise funds for our children’s future. It’s going to be an amazing weekend and we’re going to be able to do a lot of good,” said Jack Bittner, chairman of the board of directors for the Napa Valley Vintners and managing partner at OVID. Napa Valley.   

Membership in Collective Napa Valley is available on a variety of levels. For more information, visit collectivenapavalley.org.

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Wine lists in restaurants, Dan Berger writes, are frequently characterized by "ludicrous pricing, outrageous corkage charges, and selections that are absurd." Stanley Hoersch took a different approach to selling wine in his family's restaurant. 

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