Napa Valley Collective Summer Wine Auction Raises $3.8 Million for Charity

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Napa Valley Collective Summer Wine Auction Raises $3.8 Million for Charity

Napa Valley was blessed with clear blue skies and mild weather for the 2023 Napa Valley Collective Summer Barrel Auction. More than 1,300 wine lovers attended the weekend event, which raised $3.8 million for mental health services in the community.

“We are grateful that Collective Napa Valley recognizes the critical need for our youth to access mental health services in safe locations in our county,” said Liz Marks, Mentis Director of Development. Mentis is a non-profit organization that focuses on teaching youth coping skills to prevent serious mental health problems.

Auction attendees seemed more than happy to contribute generously to the cause and there was a jubilant atmosphere at the festivities as everyone celebrated with local wine and food.

“We come to this event every year to celebrate our wedding anniversary,” said James and Kim Meredith, two local wine enthusiasts who attended the barrel auction. “We ended up winning lots of eight barrels. We love supporting the community and giving back – plus we get to try wine from so many small wineries we’ve never heard of.”

Louis M. Martini and Silver Oak Wineries host barrel and live auctions

The weekend kicked off at noon on Friday, June 2, with a barrel auction at Louis M. Martini Winery, featuring live music and food/wine tastings. This was followed by gourmet dinners at various Napa Valley wineries.

During the 3-hour barrel auction, hosted by Napa Valley Vintners and supported by Sotheby’s, attendees were able to taste wine directly from the barrel and ask questions of the winemakers. There were a total of 82 barrel lots that sold for under $1,000 to over $5,000 per case of wine. Many of the lots were from the 2021 and 2022 vintages, and successful bidders will receive their wine over the next 2 to 3 years when it finishes aging and is bottled.

In addition to the wine tasting, numerous local restaurants and eateries offered tempting dishes to enjoy with the wine. A few of the offerings included shrimp and cucumber tostadas, fresh-caught halibut with arugula, beef and mushroom empanadas, decadent cheeses and desserts, among many other cuisines.

“We feel it is fitting to host the Louis M. Martini Winery Barrel Auction because Martini is one of the founding members of the Napa Valley Winemakers Association,” said Mark Williams, Louis M. Martini Winery Chief Winemaker. “It is an honor to open our doors and, in collaboration with our tight-knit Napa Valley winery community, support youth mental health programs in Napa Valley.”

On Saturday, June 3, the day began with visits to Napa Valley vineyards to learn about growing methods and/or participate in wine blending sessions. This was followed by a gala dinner at Silver Oak Winery, where 200 guests sat at a long table in the gardens and enjoyed Napa wines paired with cuisine prepared by award-winning chef Cindy Paulsin of Mustard’s Grill.

After dinner, guests had the opportunity to bid live on 10 lots, with sale prices ranging from $25,000 to $500,000. Live music and dancing under the stars followed.

Live batches included access to incredible wines and experiences. The majority of batches focused on special experiences in Napa Valley along with trips to Alaska and South Africa. Wines include Rombauer vertical 2016 to 2022 wines, Stags Leap Wine Cellars SLVSLV magnums from 1987, 1994, 1995, 2008, 2009 and 2019, Silver Oak Methuselah (6L) and more wine specials.

Napa Valley wineries and restaurants are giving back to support the community

To make Collective Napa Valley a success, wineries and local restaurants/cafeterias donate their time, wine, food and facilities to various events and auctions that are part of a year-round program of philanthropy. In personal interviews with some of those who attended this summer’s event, it was evident that they love to give back to support their community.

“Our winery has been participating for the last ten years,” said Rolando Herrera Jr., 2n.d A generational member of the Mi Sueño Winery family. “We enjoy supporting our local community,” chimed in his sister, Rebecca Herrera. “This is a great opportunity to give back as well as connect with many of our wine club members.”

Fred Zamataro, director of Schramsberg Vineyards, one of Napa’s oldest sparkling houses, added, “We enjoy supporting our community and interacting with our colleagues and customers. It is an opportunity for us to thank you.” Schramsberg served them well Attachment to Brut Roséwhich is produced only from grapes grown in the Carneros region and means “the deep and abiding attachment to the place you call home.

Ryan Stettins, Co-Founder/Managing Partner of Compline Restaurant in downtown Napa said, “We’re here because we believe in aligning with people who are doing good things for our local community.” Compline is known for its Northern California cuisine and an innovative menu that includes dishes like bone marrow gnocchi and trout crudo Mt. Lassen.

Kara’s Cupcakes founder, Kara Haspel Lind, served up delicious vanilla, carrot cake and chocolate cupcakes to delighted attendees. “I’ve supported this auction for ten years because it really gives back to our community,” she shared. “Also, I love baking cupcakes for this event because cupcakes are about celebration and we’re here to celebrate and connect with friends old and new.”

Beth Novak, president and CEO of Spottswoode Vineyards and co-chair of the event, summed it up well, “The importance of Barrel Auctions and Live Auctions in terms of positively impacting our Napa Valley community cannot be overstated. Growers, community volunteers, restaurateurs and vendors come together in a spirit of great generosity and camaraderie to support so many people in Napa County, with this year’s focus on our youth and their mental health. To be able to achieve this impact through our collective efforts is deeply satisfying.”

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