Napa Valley Vintners Give Nearly $7 million from 30th Auction Napa Valley

2010 Grants Bring Giving Total to $97 Million to Community's Health, Youth and Housing Non-Profits


10/8/2010 - St Helena, CA-The Napa Valley Vintners (NVV), the non-profit trade association of Napa Valley's wine industry, awarded grants totaling $6.8 million for dozens of non-profit programs in support of health and wellness, youth development and affordable housing in Napa County.

Auction Napa Valley's emphasis for 2010 grant awards focus on near-term essential needs under these priorities:

• Health and Wellness - providing health care for individuals in need
• Children and Youth - promoting success in school
• Housing - helping to keep people in their homes and to avoid homelessness

Many of the programs funded by the Auction connect more than one priority, creating comprehensive coordination of care for Napa County residents.

Grants from the proceeds of the 30th annual Auction Napa Valley (ANV) were announced at the NVV's annual community celebration held at the Oxbow Public Market in downtown Napa last night.

Neighbors Helping Neighbors from American Canyon to Calistoga

"My mom and I were thrilled to be honorary chairs of the 30th annual charity fundraiser and we had a spectacular group of volunteers comprised of vintners, community members and beneficiaries who worked tirelessly this past year to make this event such a success," said 2010 ANV Chair Beth Novak Milliken of Spottswoode Estate Vineyard and Winery. "Tonight we celebrate not only everyone's hard work, but the good that will come of it across the county."

Napa County is in an enviable situation in its ability to provide access to health insurance to all of its residents' children through Children's Health Initiative Napa County. In 2005, the NVV through Auction grants gave the largest-ever industry gift to a CHI and continues to support this agency's good work. "Our commitment to children's health is paramount to a healthy community and sets the foundation for kids to do well in school--and from that, everybody wins," said CHI Executive Director Mark Diel.

"It's heartening to have this community celebration and distribution of funds come while we are in the midst of harvest since it is what we are harvesting--our wine grapes, and in this incredible valley--that allows us to give so fully to these programs that are in need of our support now more than ever," said John Shafer of Shafer Vineyards who chaired the 2010 Grants Review Committee.

"Tonight is also about the bidders," said ANV and NVV Board President Bruce Cakebread, "Many of whom are here tonight to join in what I think is my favorite part of the Auction--when we get to give all this money away. I am also proud of what our vintners do for the community. This year the wine offerings and the hospitality were second to none, and the bidders really showed their support."

Strategies Key to Giving in This Current Economy

This year, the ANV Board of Directors, comprised of vintners and community members, looked at its funding guidelines with respect to the recent economic situation and strategically funded only those grants that provided service directly to those in need, rather than grant applications that sought capital improvements.

The Board of Directors devised a plan in 2007, known as the 5 x 5 Community Promise. Seeing the writing on the wall and the potential for economic instability, the Board told the community that the NVV would fund a minimum of $5 million each year for five years so that the programs benefiting the community could rely on a minimum of funding even if the auction didn't occur for some reason, or less than $5 million was raised that year. Over these past four years of this five year commitment, the NVV has been able to award 40% more than promised.

"We take this increase over the promise as a sign that the Napa Valley wine industry and its consumer loyalty have been, and continue to be, strong through these tough times," said Cakebread.

The giving from ANV has had a strong, positive impact on the Napa County community including funding the construction of the Napa Valley Vintners Community Health Center which today houses one of the Auction's largest grant recipients, Community Health Clinic Ole, along with Sister Ann Dental Clinic, Healthy Moms and Babies, and Napa Emergency Women's Center (NEWS). "Without this facility and the ongoing support from grants we could not offer these innovative programs for families and women in need," said Tracy Lamb, executive director of NEWS, speaking on behalf of all recipients.

"Along the way the Auction is able to increase its ability to pass on as much of what is raised to the beneficiaries as possible by the generosity of an outstanding group of strategic partners. This diverse group of businesses provides goods and services complimentary or at little cost to allow us to offer the level of hospitality and event execution that maintains ANV's place as the most successful charity wine auction. Many of our partners donate luxury products or travel packages to enhance auction lots, at no cost to the Auction. We cannot thank these partners enough," said NVV Strategic Partner Committee Chair Mary Grace of Far Niente.

Auction Napa Valley 2011, chaired by the Rombauer Family, will be held June 2-5. Limited full passports with additional access are available for purchase November 1 to December 23. Traditional packages will be available for purchase in late March 2011. For more information contact the NVV at 707.963.3388.

About ANV
Auction Napa Valley is the most successful charity wine auction in the world and to date has given $97 million to scores of non-profit programs. The annual fundraiser is hosted by the Napa Valley Vintners, the non-profit trade association representing 400 wineries in the renowned Napa Valley. The auction was founded in 1981 under the vision of Robert and Margrit Mondavi and has grown to be a four-day celebration of wine, food and fundraising held the first weekend in June.

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 400 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

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Click here for the complete distribution summary.

Click here for the community celebration photo gallery.

Contact: Terry Hall, Communications Director 707-968-4217