Through the Grapevine

When wines from California were beginning to earn global recognition and accolades, he conceived an idea to create an event that would raise awareness about the world-class wines being produced in Napa Valley while also raising funds for important area programs. He joined with the Napa Valley Vintners association to launch Auction Napa Valley in 1981; since that time, the event has raised more than $90 million to support a wide range of local organizations, including health care, youth services, and affordable housing non-profits.

Auction Napa Valley is in its 30th year, 21 years of which I am proud to have participated. Last year, Robert Mondavi Winery was honored to host Friday’s Taste Napa Valley event. We welcomed more than 2,500 guests to the winery, who enjoyed the wines and cuisine from some 200 of our Napa Valley neighbors. It was a spectacular gathering, as it is every year, and I wish the team at Rubicon the best of luck in hosting the festive day this year.

Rest assured, we are still participating in Auction Napa Valley. Our Live Auction lot—Lot 27—is called “The Art of Wine,” which is apropos, given the winery’s steadfast dedication to supporting the arts. Robert Mondavi once said, “Making good wine is a skill, fine wine is an art.” As a winemaker, it is an art that I dedicate myself to, and one that so many of my contemporaries in Napa Valley are producing. The lot includes an amazing collection of large-format bottles from the past four decades, including a bottle from 1981—the year that Robert and Margrit Mondavi co-hosted the premiere auction. We humbly feel that these vintages represent the art of fine wine. The lot also includes dinner for 10 in our Vineyard Room, where Margrit and myself will serve as your hostesses.

To complement the art of fine wine, the lot also includes an original work of art by local artist Gordon Huether. Art is one of the founding principles of the Robert Mondavi Winery, and we feature celebrated local and emerging artists in rotating exhibitions in our Vineyard Room, as well as a permanent collection of works throughout the estate. We displayed a solo collection of Gordon’s titled “Metal Matters” at the estate in 2007, and feel that his piece in our auction lot will enhance the home of the lucky winner.

I hope to see you at this year’s auction.


Genevieve Janssens
Director of Winemaking at Robert Mondavi Winery