The yearly Auction Napa Valley has become a pilgrimage in California. It's been less than a year since the earthquake, but not even a natural threat could keep this weekend from flowing. Its purpose is to nourish the lives of more than 90,000 people annually in Napa County, in the areas of community health and children's education. The event was the epitome of "Napa Valley experience," focusing on the distinguished wines from NVV member wineries, the culinary excellence of the region's chefs and restaurateurs, the renowned hospitality of the vintners and the collaborative effort in the Napa Valley with over 800 local volunteers. As guests arrived for the weekend's soirees, it was pure, classic Napa Valley with the understated elegance of a summer garden party and the excitement of a rock spectacle.
This year's Auction Napa Valley commenced with vintner-hosted "Welcome Parties" on Thursday evening and continued till Friday, with the Napa Valley Barrel Auction at HALL St. Helena.
Approximately 2,000 guests sampled 120 coveted Napa Valley wines, nearly 90 percent from the much-anticipated 2013 vintage, directly from the barrel, while having a chance to spend time with the winemakers and vintners themselves. The Napa Valley Barrel Auction raised a record $1.9 million through the sale of these Napa Valley wine futures. Friday's guests also strolled the art-filled grounds at HALL, while enjoying sips of 100 current release Napa Valley wines and tasty bites from more than 40 of Napa Valley's celebrated chefs and food purveyors.
One of the many highlights was singer-songwriter John Legend performing his hit "All of Me" immediately prior to the sale of Live Auction Lot No. 30, a collaboration between Legend and Raymond Vineyards. The lot, which includes six etched bottles of Napa Valley wine, a dinner party for 30 and a private performance by Legend, sold for a total of $850,000. As the Live Auction ended and guests strolled to a twilight dinner by renowned international Chef Pierre Gagnaire, Auction Napa Valley's online E-Auction, which had opened on May 31, came to a close, marking a new record of $612,500.
Auction Napa Valley raised a total of $15.8 Million for Community Health and Children's Education. The Next Auction Napa Valley takes place June 2-5, 2016.