Premiere Napa Valley Barrel Auction Slips Through to New Record of $6 Million


2/21/2015 - St. Helena, CA - A rousing display of uniformly passionate bidding on a range of unique wines resulted in a new record $6 million fundraising total for the Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) at today’s 19th annual Premiere Napa Valley barrel tasting and auction.

“We were honored to kick off a day of exuberant bidding with the first auction lot and are touched, humbled and grateful for the generosity of our friends in the trade,” exclaimed Emma Swain, vice chairman of the NVV Board of Directors, Premiere Napa Valley chair and CEO of St. Supéry Estate Vineyards & Winery. “The record results speak for the wonderful support of Napa Valley as a world-class growing region.”

The 225 lots of wine created for and sold exclusively at today’s event are some of Napa Valley’s rarest, crafted in micro-lots of as few as 60 bottles and never more than 240. Like a work of fine art, each bottle will be hand-numbered upon release. Premiere Napa Valley showcases the region’s commitment to producing innovative wines of the highest quality by encouraging winemakers to create lots made from specific blocks of vines, blending juice from multiple sub-appellations, collaborating in distinct ways with other noted winemakers and, in general, uniquely expressing the story of Napa Valley’s diverse grape growing and winemaking styles within each bottle.

This year’s event raised just slightly more than last year’s record-breaking total of $5.9 million, which doubled the previous record of $3.1 million raised in 2012. The average wholesale price per bottle sold was $286, reflecting the premium nature of these limited-edition wines. This year’s 70 successful bidders, all members of the wine trade such as retailers, restaurateurs, importers and distributors, will make these highly-collectible wines available to their customers under the Premiere Napa Valley wine label. Considered one of the wine industry’s most sought-after events, Premiere Napa Valley 2015 sold out more than a month in advance and was attended by more than 700 top trade and media guests who traveled from eight countries and 30 different states.

“We are happy to be back once again to support Napa Valley” noted Cristina Pearce of Total Wine, today’s top bidder. “The 2013 vintage has excellent wines to offer and we are excited about the lots we were able to obtain today. We can't wait to show them to our customers."

Some trends noticed at this year’s event: the top twenty lots included both classic brands and newcomers to the Napa Valley; longtime bidders demonstrated their continued support, along with new members of the trade who vied for this year’s wines; interest in Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon continues to be strong; and there was a near-universal appeal found in the balanced wines from the 2013 vintage presented today.

Today’s top earning lots included: BRAND Napa Valley; Chateau Boswell Winery; Fairchild Napa Valley; Gandona Estate; Shafer Vineyards; Pulido~Walker; Memento Mori; a collaboration between CONSTANT, David Arthur, Italics and Reynolds Family Winery; Silver Oak Cellars; and Rombauer Vineyards.

Top trade accounts bidding at the event included: Total Wine & More; Cliffewood Wine Syndicate; Gary’s Wine & Marketplace; Wine Library; Beverage Warehouse; Nakagawa Wine Co.; The Wine House; N16 Cellars; Meritage Wine Market; and Veraison.

Consumers interested in procuring these high-quality, limited production wines for their own cellar can obtain information on the successful bidder for each lot at

Today’s barrel tasting and auction was the final event of “Premiere Week,” as it has become known, and which includes numerous educational programs and professional tastings hosted throughout the Napa Valley each February, including: Sommelier Napa Valley; The Symposium for Professional Wine Writers at Meadowood Napa Valley; the Vintage Perspective and Retrospective Tasting; numerous winery-hosted tastings and events; and Napa Valley wine promotions at local restaurants.

Downloadable photos of Premiere Napa Valley 2015 and related events can be viewed at

About the Napa Valley Vintners
The Napa Valley Vintners nonprofit trade association has been cultivating excellence since 1944 by inspiring its more than 500 members to consistently produce wines of the highest quality, to provide environmental leadership and to care for the extraordinary place they call home. Proceeds from Premiere Napa Valley are used to support the nonprofit trade association’s mission to promote, protect and enhance the Napa Valley appellation.Learn more at

Contact: Cate Conniff, Communications Manager 707.968.4229


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