5/26/2021 - St. Helena, CA – Napa Valley is humming with excitement as the wine community gets ready to welcome back and reconnect with trade partners around the globe. Next week is the annual Premiere Napa Valley wine auction taking place this year from June 1-5, both online and in-person.
For those descending upon Napa Valley in one week’s time, they will find the valley looks and feels much the same after what was undoubtedly one of the most challenging years for the entire community. What is different is the spirit and resilience, which is palpable.
“Napa Valley has a connection that runs deep through our community. It is what sustained us during the hardships we faced. That sense of camaraderie is shared with our friends and trade partners around the world who are very much an extension of our community. They have been with us through it all,” said Jack Bittner, Managing Partner at OVID. Napa Valley and Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Napa Valley Vintners.
Premiere Napa Valley was created 25 years ago to build relationships with members of the wine trade and to preview the upcoming vintage. Those foundations still hold true today and even more so in 2021.
“We’re thrilled that so many trade partners are joining us from home or are traveling here to invest in our valley. With their continued support, Napa has a bright future ahead,” said Bittner.
In the days leading up to the live finale on June 5, trade members will connect with winemakers through tastings and virtual one-on-one appointments. For registered trade there are 26 intimate, in-person private tastings and 47 virtual tastings to take part in.
“There’s nothing like Premiere week. Wine is the ultimate connector and that is what this week is all about. Each of the lots presented at this year’s auction are a reflection of our winemakers’ creative sense of exploration and our passion for crafting remarkable wines,” said Rosemary Cakebread, Owner and Winemaker of Gallica and co-chair of this year’s Premiere Napa Valley.
Up for auction are 149 unique, micro-lots of wine in as few as 60 and no more than 240 bottles. A majority of the lots presented are from the elegant 2019 vintage along with a handful of extended barrel-aged 2018 Cabernets and a sampling of white wines and Pinot Noir from 2020. These wines are made specifically for the annual, trade-only auction.
“After a wet winter, and a cool, long growing season, it's no surprise to find the 2019 wines are generous and layered. They are bright and balanced, offering beautiful ripeness and fine-grained tannins with no excess,” said Diana Snowden Seysses, Winemaker at Snowden Vineyards.
New to this year’s auction is the possibility to take Premiere week activities and the auction itself online. The Vintage Perspective Tasting is a favorite event that takes place annually during Premiere week. The tasting invites trade members to fully experience Napa Valley’s most recent and upcoming vintage releases.
This year, the spirit of the Vintage Perspective Tasting takes place online each day from June 1-3. Three well-known wine journalists will lead winemaker discussions on each of the vintages presented at this year’s auction: 2018 with James Suckling, 2019 with Lisa Perotti-Brown MW and 2020 with Jeb Dunnuck. The seminars are open to anyone wishing to tune in.
Online bidding, powered by Zachys, begins on June 3 and concludes with the livestreaming auction finale on Saturday, June 5 starting at 1 p.m. PDT. Registration for members of the wine trade can be done anytime leading up to the start of the auction. Monies raised at Premiere Napa Valley go toward efforts to promote, protect and enhance Napa Valley now and in the future.
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