Napa Valley Wine Auction Reaches $8 Million

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Napa Valley’s annual wine auction was held on Saturday and its tally topped just over $8 million, surpassing last year’s $7.3 million total, but falling just shy of 2010’s $8.5 million total.

As one of the county’s top philanthropic events, the Napa Valley annual auction has totaled more than $104 million over 32 years, funding numerous Napa Valley causes.

Cyril Chappellet, managing director of Chappellet Winery and this year’s auction chair said, “in this economy, to do this…is fabulous.”

While some vintners contributed more modest bids due to a dip in the stock market, other bidders dug deep.

“We have several new bidders that have never been to the auction before,” said Chappellet. Included in those new-comers was Joe Lacob and Peter Guber, the Warriors’ new owners, who donated VIP access to games, plus a ride on the team’s jet. Also auctioned off last weekend was a 15-foot-tall pile of the world’s most expensive metal end posts that were auctioned off for $40,000.

Within 10 minutes of the auction opening, Mary Miner, owner of the Oakville Ranch winery, spent $85,000 on the Warriors package and $220,000 on a lot with a golf and spa getaway and a 1960 Jaguar. Later in the evening, Miner also dropped $150,000 for 30 bottles of Oakville-area wines, some of which were her own.

The largest single bid of the day came from Barbara Banke, widow of wine tycoon Jess Jackson, who paid $460,000 for a private concert from country band Lady Antebellum.

The largest overall lot sale included a 12-day African safari, which sold for $720,000 and included a nonnative wildlife cheetah.

Source: SF Gate

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