PREMIERE NAPA VALLEY 2006 EVENT WAS A "GAVEL BREAKER" SETTING NEW RECORDS
2/26/2006 - St. Helena, CA - In what must have been an omen for good luck, the auction gavel shattered into pieces early in the bidding at this year's Premiere Napa Valley® (PNV). The renowned mid-winter barrel auction, celebrating its tenth anniversary, brought in just over $1.87 million dollars on Saturday, February 25, a 28% increase in revenue over 2005's record setting earnings.
When the last gavel dropped, overall results for the sold out wine trade-only event featuring five-, ten- and 20-case lots of one-of-a-kind Napa wine futures, once again proved that Napa Valley wines are a hot commodity and an excellent investment. After a rousing round lasting just over 2 ˝ hours, 67 successful bidders purchased 181 lots (a 10% increase over 2005), with revenues going to support programs by the Napa Valley Vintners (NVV), the non-profit trade association of more than 270 member wineries that is charged with promoting and protecting the Napa Valley Appellation.
More than 1,000 winemakers, restaurateurs, retailers and wine wholesalers spent the morning rubbing elbows with each other while barrel tasting wines created exclusively for the event, held at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone (CIA).
"This is our annual bake sale where we raise money for our association's programs," said John Skupny, owner of Lang & Reed Wine Company and chair, along with his wife Tracey, of PNV 2006. "Perhaps most exciting for our vintners is the chance to spend time with our customers, many of whom we have been partnering with for years, and who have become good friends. Premiere is our signature event for the trade in Napa Valley and the vintner community is solidly behind the endeavor." Skupny's brand, Lang & Reed, made its debut with their very-first commercial release at the first Premiere auction in 1997 and this year their lot was one of the top 15.
More than 200 paddle holders, including a number of first time bidders, converged on the Napa Valley from as far as New York and Japan, to bid on a total of 1,195 cases of wine. Early in the bidding, renowned auctioneer Ursula Hermacinski lowered the gavel to close the sale of a lot and the oak gavel shattered in her hand, which proved to be the harbinger of robust action to come.
The top bidder of the day was Gary Fisch, owner of Gary's Wine and Marketplace with three stores in northern New Jersey, who is both a perennial attendee and high bidder. Fisch said: "This was the best auction yet. The diversity of wines made it even more exciting." This year Fisch purchased 16 lots totaling 115 cases paying a total of $220,500. He said: "The response to Premiere wines has been great. I sell them to my clientele bottle by bottle and people are starting to understand what I've been saying for years: the vintners of the Napa Valley go all out with these wines."
Bidding became heated at lot #37, a five case offering by Shafer Vineyards that sold for $75,000 to Ichizo Nakagawa from Nakagawa Wine Co., Ltd, of Tokyo, Japan. This topped by 50% a previous record-setting PNV bid set in 2005. Coming in as number two cumulative high-bidder for the day, Nakagawa said: "I used to drink only French wines, but I've been coming to the Napa Valley for a while and now I drink Napa Valley wines almost exclusively."
Later in the auction, the bar was raised even higher as the top selling lot of the day came near the end when V.J. Jazirvar from the Petroleum Club in Oklahoma City paid a record-setting $85,000 for a 5-case lot of 2004 Rombauer Cabernet Sauvignon. Last year Jazirvar set the high-bid record at $50,000 for another Rombauer lot, this year he exceeded his own high mark by 70%. Jazirvar said: "All five of the lots I bought last year are already sold out - and I haven't even gotten the wine yet! These wines are a great investment. I'm so happy to see Napa Valley wines getting the acclaim they deserve - equal to the elite wines of Europe." Asked how he thought the auction went, vintner Koerner Rombauer said: "It was great. Everybody was very comfortable, they like to come to this event and that's what we wanted."
Dan Duckhorn, co-chair of the inaugural PNV auction in 1997 said: "After ten years, it's quite evident that we have been able to sustain the momentum of giving the world a great view of Napa Valley wines and giving our new members a 'place in the sun.' The Premiere auction is outpacing the growth of the industry--it's pretty neat"
For complete information and results from all prior years, please visit http://www.napavintners.com.
Now in our seventh decade, the Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) trade association is the sole organization responsible for promoting and protecting the Napa Valley Appellation as a winegrowing region second to none in the world. Respect for our history reinforces our commitment to the preservation and enhancement of the Valley's land, wine, and community for future generations. We address the shared interests of our more than 270 members and aspire to be the essential organization for all Napa Valley vintners.
Digital images of Premiere Napa Valley 2006 are available on the Web site in both the Press Room and Auctions links and may be downloaded at 300 dpi at no cost.
Top 10 Bidders
1. Gary's Wine & Marketplace, Madison, NJ
2. Nakagawa Wine Company, Ltd., Tokyo, Japan
3. Capitol Cellars, Roseville, CA
4. Bounty Hunter, Napa, CA
5. Petroleum Club, Oklahoma City, OK
6. Hi-Time Cellars, Costa Mesa, CA
7. FQ Club, Reno, NV
8. Zachy's, Scarsdale, NY
9. Willow Park Wine & Spirits, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
10. The Grapevine, San Jose, CA
Total Trade Attendees - 595
Representing 67 Restaurant Accounts, 99 Retailers and 96 Distributors and Importers
Top 15 Lots
Lot #178 Rombauer Vineyards $85,000
Lot # 37 Shafer Vineyards $75,000
Lot # 154 Silver Oak Cellars $39,000
Lot # 155 Paraduxx $37,000
Lot # 57 Beringer Vineyards $35,000
Lot # 104 Lewis Cellars $32,000
Lot # 19 Joseph Phelps Vineyards $29,000
Lot # 44 Husic Vineyards $28,000
Lot # 148 Regusci Vineyards $27,000
Lot # 86 Gemstone $27,000
Lot # 174 Pride Mountain $26,000
Lot # 142 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars $25,000
Lot # 1 Lang & Reed Wine Company $22,000
Lot # 82 Saintsbury $22,000
Lot # 128 Darioush $22,000
Number of Lots by Wine Variety
Cabernet Franc: 7
Cabernet Sauvignon: 129
Nero d'Avolo: 1
Petit Verdot: 3
Petite Sirah: 2
Pinot Noir: 6
Proprietary Red Blends: 6
White or Sparkling: 2
Contact: CONTACT: Terry Hall Direct: 707-968-4217 firstname.lastname@example.org