Wine Industry’s Philanthropic Power Flexed At Auction Napa Valley

 

Katy Perry performs

Photo Credit: Alexander Rubin for Napa Valley Vintners

On Saturday afternoon at Meadowood Napa Valley, a hushed silence fell over the crowd of wine lovers, celebrated vintners, and other esteemed aficionados. A lively drumline had just led 900 guests from the golf course into a lavishly decorated pink tent. The anticipation in the air was thick as the 39th annual Auction Napa Valley was set to begin. To kick start the festivities, none other than pop star Katy Perry took to the stage to perform an acoustic set of five songs that included her hits Last Friday Night, Roar, and Firework.

David Pearson

Photo Credit: Alexander Rubin for Napa Valley Vintners

Perry, who shared her motto “be kind and drink wine,”  addressed the tent in between one of the songs saying that she was starstruck by the Opus One table which was directly in front of the stage. David Pearson, the current chairman of the Napa Valley Vintners, the organization that put on the auction, and president of Opus One gamely poured the songstress a glass. Perry joked that she didn’t want any “two-buck Chuck from the back of the room,” before realizing that the man handing her the glass was Pearson.

The excitement in the tent

Photo Credit: Alexander Rubin for Napa Valley Vintners

The second Perry’s set was done the mood instantly shifted, and auctioneers Fritz Hatton and Ursula Hermacinski got the frenzied bidding underway. The first lot, from Continuum Estate which included a tour of Italy for three couples with luxury accommodations and experiences (like a behind-the-scenes tour of the Vatican and a private party at the Bulgari store in Rome) plus magnums of Continuum’s wine, went for half a million dollars.

Bill and Deborah Harlan

Photo Credit: Alexander Rubin for Napa Valley Vintners

The generosity flowed as thirty-one auction lots were sold and Fund the Future had people donating anywhere between $1000 and $250,000 to support Napa’s children. The entire multi-day event, which included a barrel auction on Friday and an e-auction that concluded yesterday, raised nearly $12 million. All the proceeds are given back to the local community. “At Auction Napa Valley, through the support of our vintners, bidders, corporate partners and volunteers we create so much more than a world-class wine experience, we create a cycle of giving that has a lasting impact on the health of our community,” Pearson said.

Chefs Adam Sobel and Alejandro Ayala

Photo Credit: Alexander Rubin for Napa Valley Vintners

Once the auction concluded, the real party began, and guests were treated to a feast of barbecued dishes from Michael Mina’s team of celebrated chefs including Raj Dixit, Jeremy McMillan, Hugo Ortega, Adam Sobel, Michelle Karr-Ueoka and Wade Ueoka. Ayesha Curry was also supposed to cook, but she was out of town due to the NBA finals. Guests nibbled succulent ribs and flavorful salads while sipping special bottles from acclaimed vintners’ cellars. It was a sensational party for a fantastic cause.

The hosts for next year’s Auction Napa Valley, the Araujo family

Photo Credit: Alexander Rubin for Napa Valley Vintners

A limited number of tickets to the 40th annual Auction Napa Valley, which takes place June 4-7, 2020 and is being hosted by Wheeler Farms and the Araujo family, are now on sale.

Josh Phelps, Dan Petroski, and Scott Beattie

Photo Credit: Alexander Rubin for Napa Valley Vintners

Katy Perry

Photo Credit: Alexander Rubin for Napa Valley Vintners

Revelers in the tent

Photo Credit: Alexander Rubin for Napa Valley Vintners

Kenzo Tsujimoto and a friend

Photo Credit: Alexander Rubin for Napa Valley Vintners

Jennifer Chiesa, Kristin Tice Studeman, Danielle Mcnally, and Randi Friedman

Photo Credit: Alexander Rubin for Napa Valley Vintners

Delicious eats by Michael Mina’s team

Photo Credit: Alexander Rubin for Napa Valley Vintners

Katy Perry

Photo Credit: Alexander Rubin for Napa Valley Vintners

The post-auction dinner

Photo Credit: Alexander Rubin for Napa Valley Vintners

Bettina Bryant

Photo Credit: Alexander Rubin for Napa Valley Vintners

Inside the tent

Photo Credit: Alexander Rubin for Napa Valley Vintners

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