Napa Vintners' Premiere Napa Valley Breaks Record-Brings $3.1 Million

Annual Wine Futures Auction Shows Strong Napa Valley Brand

 

2/26/2012 - St Helena, CA--The Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) non-profit trade association's annual Premiere Napa Valley wine futures auction broke new ground bringing $3.1 million in just over three hours of fast bidding on 200 unique, one-of-a-kind wines. Besting 2011's record by 31% brought the annual association fundraiser over the $3 million milestone for the first time. The event is often viewed as a bellwether of the state of the overall wine industry's economic indicator.

"The way our customers reacted, it strikes me that it was just that: a market response. The result of this auction is a true measure of the market. Clearly, even in a still challenged economy, the retailers and restaurateurs have voted. The buyers for these wines would not have put forth this kind of investment if they didn't feel--with real security--that they could sell these wines," said Pine Ridge Vineyards' CEO and PNV 2012 chair Erle Martin.

This year 64 successful bidders captured 200 lots representing 1495 cases of wine. The average case price was $2,069--up 34 percent over 2011. The event, sold out 6 weeks in advance, included 1000 attendees representing 88 retail outlets, 84 restaurants, 86 distributors and importers and 100 media. PNV was founded in 1997 as a way for the association to raise funds to further its mission to promote, protect and enhance the Napa Valley appellation. The first year PNV raised $412,000 and income broke the $1 million mark in 2005 and then reached $2 million in 2007.

"The energy was high all week leading up to the event on Saturday. Our retail, restaurant and wholesale clients were arriving as early as Monday to the Napa Valley to join vintners at private tastings and we could feel the excitement grow day by day. When the doors opened and the barrel tasting began, it was incredible. We are delighted that at the end of the day we were able to break our record revenue set last year by more than 30 percent. This was a great finale to an awesome week in the Napa Valley," said Martin.

"Premiere provides an outstanding stage from which to showcase the innovation and quality of wines from the Napa Valley. The wines crafted for this auction truly are the best of the best. As a winemaker, I look forward to creating something unique each year--and tasting what my friends and neighbors have made as well. Then to see the overwhelmingly positive results from our trade partners with their confidence in these wines is truly heartwarming," said PNV 2012 co-chair Michael Beaulac, winemaker and general manager of Pine Ridge Vineyards.

"We call Premiere our annual bake sale and the money raised is used in a number of ways. All of the new initiatives and programs of the NVV over the past 15 years have been launched because of PNV. These include our Master Napa Valley intensive for advanced-level wine professionals, the Wine Educators Academy for those who teach about wine, our Symposium for Professional Wine Writers, and environmental programs such as the industry-leading Napa Green Land and Winey certifications, international and domestic name protection work and a lot more," said NVV Executive Director Linda Reiff. "The entire Napa Valley community benefits from Premiere Napa Valley as it provides the funding to keep the message of the Napa Valley appellation at the forefront world-wide."

Offerings Included 145 Cabernet Sauvignons, 28 Red Wine blends, 8 Cabernet Francs, 6 Pinot Noirs, 5 Merlots, 3 Malbecs, and 1 each Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Meunier and sparkling wine.

Top Earning Lots:
Dana Estates, Kapcsandy Family Winery, Ovid Napa Valley, Checkerboard Vineyards, Vine Hill Ranch, Joseph Phelps Vineyards, Amuse Bouche Winery, Duckhorn Vineyards, Silver Oak Cellars, Levy and McClellan and Shafer Vineyards.

Top Bidders:
Bounty Hunter, Napa, CA; The Wine House, West Los Angeles, CA; Cliffewood Wine Syndicate, Little Rock, AR; Nakagawa Trading Co, Tokyo, Japan; Total Wine and More, Potomac, MD; Petroleum Club, Oklahoma City, OK; Beverage Warehouse, Marina del Rey, CA; Gary's Wine and Marketplace, Madison, NJ; Imbibe Wine and Spirits, Bakersfield, CA; Meritage Wine Market, Encinitas, CA.

Napa Valley the Epicenter of the Wine World
The midwinter auction event was held on Saturday, February 25 at the historic Greystone Winery, now the west coast teaching campus of the renowned Culinary Institute of America. This was the finale of a week-long gathering of wine retailers, restaurant buyers, wholesalers and wine importers and media from across the country and around the world. Vintners hosted library tastings, educational seminars and socials at a time when the weather felt more like mid-spring making for a perfect showcase of the Napa Valley.

Additionally the sold-out 8th annual Symposium for Professional Wine Writers at Meadowood Napa Valley, an NVV signature program, convened from Tuesday to Friday where top editors and wine writers met to hone their craft of wine writing and wine knowledge. Speakers and attendees included Joshua Greene, editor of Wine & Spirits Magazine; Eric Asimov, chief wine critic for New York Times; Guy Woodward, editor of Decanter Magazine, Antonio Galloni of Wine Advocate; Neil Beckett, editor of World of Fine Wine Magazine among scores more. www.winewriterssymposium.org

Joining the vintners was an NVV-hosted, week-long immersion program known as Experience Napa Valley for Japanese wine trade and media representing the top restaurants and retailers from Tokyo and Osaka. Both of these groups also finished their programs participating in PNV.

Find Premiere Napa Valley Wine
Consumers can find out how to procure these wines for their cellars by visiting www.premierenapawines.com to find a retailer

About the NVV
The Napa Valley Vintners is the non-profit trade association responsible for promoting and protecting the Napa Valley appellation as the premier winegrowing region. From seven founding members in 1944, today the association represents 425 Napa Valley wineries and collectively is a leader in the world-wide wine industry. To learn more about our region and its legendary American wines, visit www.napavintners.com.

Quotes from the event

"Premiere Napa Valley is the Super Bowl of wine events," remarked Traci Weber, co-owner of 1st Avenue Wine House based in Cedar Rapids, IA. "We've been coming to Premiere for five years now and our customers now expect us to come back with something very special every year."

Parker Grabowski of Gastronomy Rooms, Inc. commented that "Every time we come to Premiere, we make new friends, and bring more and more of Napa Valley back with us. Many of our customers have connected with Napa Valley winemakers who come to visit join us for always sold-out winemaker dinners. Our customers tell us of their visits Napa Valley. These relationships between our clients and the wineries greatly influence our business and set us apart." Gastronomy Rooms bought three lots: Hourglass, Coho, and Paraduxx.

In response to the ROY Estate lot, selling for more than double its earnings from 2011, a proud Shirley Roy said, "These are the moments, that make all the hard work worth it."

"The flow of the week leading up to Premiere, with the excitement of the events and the exposure to so many different key trade and media to Napa Valley wines and vintner hospitality, was in my mind, unparalleled," said Steve Reynolds of Reynolds Family Winery and chair of Premiere Napa Valley 2013,

"Premiere is usually an early indicator," notes Jack Bittner, president of Clif Lede Vineyards. "The enthusiasm today portends well for future business."
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Contact: Terry Hall, Communications Director 707-968-4217 thall@napavintners.com