Auction Napa Valley is more than just your typical wine festival. Sure, much like a typical festival, auction-goers get to imbibe their fair share of the fruits of the region and dine on expertly paired cuisine over the course of the weekend, but there are some key differences that set this celebration of wine apart from all others.
First, the setting. While the sands of Miami’s South Beach or the mountains of Denver, Colorado, may be pretty savory settings for trying out a montage of wines and cuisine, nothing compares to enjoying the nectar of the gods in the same place the grapes were transformed into splendid wines.
Second, the hosts. Auction Napa Valley provides an opportunity to personally connect with the people and personalities behind your favorite Napa Valley wines, who open their homes, estates, and vineyards for private gatherings. Numbers are kept small to ensure an intimate experience.
And, finally, the cause. ANV is put together by the Napa Valley Vintners, a non-profit trade association whose mission is to promote and protect the winegrowing region. The association regularly hosts a number of initiatives, including educational programs, barrel auctions, and writer symposiums, and Auction Napa Valley is its annual fundraising event. Since its premiere in 1981, ANV has given $90 million to support area programs, including healthcare, youth services, and affordable housing.
Dates: Thursday, June 3 to Sunday, June 6
Thursday: Welcome to Napa Valley Bidder Dinner Parties with the Vintners
Friday: Taste Napa Valley and Friday Night in Napa Valley, during which vintners welcome guests into their estates for private dinners
Saturday: Live Auction Lot Preview and Pre-Auction Lunch on the Lawn, followed by the Live Auction then the Post-Auction Dinner & Party
Sunday: Farewell Fête & Announcement of Results
• Four-Day Package ($2,500 per person)
All-access to all of the auction
• Three-Day Package ($1,000 per person)
Thursday, Friday, and Sunday’s events, but you miss the big shebang—the Live Auction itself, held Saturday (although ticket holders do get a bidding number for the Barrel and E-Auctions).
• Taste Napa Valley ($250)
Friday’s daytime event at Rubicon and bidding number for Barrel & E-Auctions. It’s a popular event, and tickets sold out months ago.
There’s a whole lotta drinking going on, so rely on one of these services to get around:
• Magnum Wine Tours (www.magnumwinetours.com; 707.753.0088)
• Pure Luxury Transportation (www.pureluxury.com; 800.626.5466)
• Beau Wine Tours (www.beauwinetours.com; 800.387.2328)