Photo by Alexander Rubin for Napa Valley Vintners
2/22/2020 - St. Helena, CA – Napa Valley’s finest, most innovative wines raised $3.9 million in support of the Napa Valley Vintners’ mission to promote, protect and enhance the Napa Valley. In turn, the auction provided sole proprietorship of a selection of rare Napa Valley wines to a record 71 winning bidders, including 17 new buyers.
A week of educational, tasting and networking opportunities leading up to today’s event offered top wine trade attending from around the world a chance to connect with each other, winemakers and the 2018 vintage.
“I attend for the fun, the camaraderie, the wine discovery, and to be able to plug right into what’s happening on a number of levels from the current vintage to what the changes are in the industry. There’s just a number of reasons that make Premiere Napa Valley a fun, worthwhile use of my time,” said Glenn Siegel, founder & president of Wine Spectrum, Santa Rosa, California.
More than 700 qualified wine trade attended today’s event, including national licensed wine buyers and a record number of international buyers, who jubilantly expressed their adoration for Napa Valley, including their impressions of the 2018 vintage.
“The 2018 vintage that we have been tasting this week just makes me crazy,” said successful bidder Gregor Greber, founder & proprietor of NapaWine LTD in Zurich, Switzerland. “The backbone, power, structure and intensity reminds me of some of the best wines. It’s outstanding. For me, 99 or 100 points, that would be my rating for this vintage.”
Ninety percent of the expertly-curated lots were from the 2018 vintage, lauded for their opulence, balance, drama and depth.
“Ultimately, I think it’s just a well-rounded, beautiful vintage that is showing great aromatics, color concentration and a textured finish. I know everyone competes with all their specific lots, but I think the mutual sharing and openness really shows in the community of Napa Valley,” said Brian Phillips, wine director of Darden Restaurant Group, which owns Capitol Grille Restaurants.
Wine futures garnering the strongest prices at the 24th annual event included wines from Rudd Estate, Darioush, Shafer Vineyards, Silver Oak, Lewis Cellars, OVID Napa Valley, ZD Wines, TOR, Chappellet Vineyard, St. Supéry Estate Vineyards & Winery, To Kalon Vineyard Company, Favia Erickson Winegrowers, Viader Vineyards & Winery, JCB by Jean-Charles Boisset, Spottswoode Estate Vineyard & Winery, Duckhorn Vineyards and Robert Mondavi Winery.
Each of the Premiere Napa Valley limited edition wine lots featured as few as 60 and no more than 240 bottles of wine. Each bottle is hand-numbered and signed by the winemaker, creating exceptional allure for wine collectors searching for rare bottles.
“Some people think that Napa Valley is just one thing, when in fact it’s 16 different growing areas and everyone is doing something unique,” said Andy Erickson, winemaker for Favia Erickson Winegrowers and past auction chair. “In a vintage like this where the weather was really just perfect, everything is highlighted and brought to the forefront. You see all the richness and diversity in the valley on full display.”
“In the end, this business is all about relationships,” said Linda Reiff, president & CEO of the Napa Valley Vintners. “The relationship of the grape grower and the winemaker, the winemaker and the buyer, the buyer and the consumer. Our vintners invest time, energy and heart into building those bonds this week and throughout the year. Today’s auction demonstrated that. We’re happy with how well the entire week went and are grateful for the auction’s final results.”
For more information about the release of Premiere Napa Valley 2020 wines and to view and download images visit premierenapavalley.com. Highlights from the week can be found on social media with the hashtag #PNV20.
About the Napa Valley Vintners
The Napa Valley Vintners nonprofit trade association has been cultivating excellence since 1944 by inspiring its 550 members to consistently produce wines of the highest quality, to provide environmental leadership and to care for the extraordinary place they call home. Learn more at napavintners.com
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