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Auction Napa Valley Raises $14.3 Million

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Napa Valley Vintners’ 36th annual Auction Napa Valley raised more than $14.2 million for local health and youth organizations this weekend.

The auction raised $15.8 million in 2015, and the record was $18.4 million in 2014 as the economy recovered from the recession.

The Vintners have donated more than $150 million from auction proceeds to local health and youth initiatives as well as other causes since the first auction in 1981.The honorary chair for the auction this year was Agustin F. Huneeus of Quintessa Estates, whose father, Agustin Huneeus, was chair 20 years ago.

Auction week started for many in the industry with the exclusive Magnum party hosted June 1 by Wine Spectator. For auction attendees, vintners hosted intimate dinners at their homes and wineries on the nights of June 2 and 3. Nearly 2,000 people attended the Napa Valley Barrel Auction at Robert Mondavi Winery on June 3. Attendees tasted bites prepared by local chefs and sipped cool whites, rosés and sparkling wines before filling the winery’s barrel room to taste samples from recent vintages. New this year was the silent Big Board Auction with Napa Valley wines, winemaker dinners, rare Napa Valley experiences and other fun auction items.

This year for the first time, the Napa Valley Wine Train took some guests from its station in Napa to the barrel auction on its new Quattro Vino train, which now takes passengers to visit four wineries for tastes. The format changed for June 4, with morning and lunch events at locations other than Meadowood. Many involved activities including a walking tour to auction beneficiaries, yoga, croquet and exploring the Napa River restoration.

Then nearly 900 guests descended on Meadowood for the live auction, which started at 4 p.m. (later than it has recently), and with a trimmed list of 36 lots, albeit impressive ones. (Wines&Vines)

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