Napa auction raises US$5.9m

24 February, 2014

The Napa Valley Vintners' (NVV) 18th annual Premiere Napa Valley made history by bringing in a total of $5.9 million, nearly doubling the previous record of $3.1m raised in 2012.

More than 90% of the lots were from the 2012 harvest, widely lauded as one of the most anticipated vintages in recent history. The 225 lots were exclusively for the trade-only tasting and auction.

"We are overwhelmed by the response," said Russ Weis, chairman of the NVV board of directors and general manager of Silverado Vineyards. "It shows there is a renewed confidence in the fine wine market in general and in Napa Valley wines specifically. We are grateful to the vintners who created such special wines for Premiere Napa Valley and especially for our trade partners from around the world who bid so generously."

The average wholesale price per bottle sold was $283, a reflection of the rarity of premiere Napa Valley wines, which are made only for this event and sold to a single bidder in lots as few as 60 bottles and never more than 240. This year’s 73 bidders, all members of the wine trade such as retailers, restaurateurs, importers and distributors, will make these bespoke wines available to their customers under the Premiere Napa Valley wine label. Premiere Napa Valley 2014 sold out earlier than ever and was attended by 600 trade and media guests who traveled from eight countries and 28 states.

To the roar of the room, the Scarecrow Wine lot went for $260,000, more than doubling the previous record of $125,000 for single lot bid. “We are thrilled to bring home this magnificent wine, drawn from the JJ Cohn vineyard from nearly 70-year-old vines,” said Bill Knight of Los Angeles retailer The Wine House. “We were willing to pay what we did for this wine because of the beautiful expression of its lineage and we look forward to sharing it with our customers.”
“We are humbled by the outpouring of support reflected in this epic Premiere Napa Valley,” said Linda Reiff, president and CEO of the Napa Valley Vintners. “It will create many opportunities to help us promote, protect and enhance our beloved Napa Valley appellation and our extraordinary wines.”

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