Napa Valley Vintners

February 27, 2011

15th Annual Premiere Napa Valley Auction for the Trade Breaks Records, Bringing Nearly $2.4 Million

St. Helena, CA

The Napa Valley Vintners’ (NVV) annual wine futures auction to the trade held February 26 in the Napa Valley, broke records finishing at nearly $2.4 million in sales. At 1,000-strong, the crowd of vintners along with retailers, restaurateurs, distributors, brokers and media from across the country and around the world, assembled at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St Helena topped last year’s take by more than 23% during the three-hour live auction.

New Records Being Set

Saturday’s auction also broke PNV’s previous single-lot record bringing $125,000 for a five- case offering from Scarecrow Wine, selling to Tokyo-based Nakagawa Wine Co. The previous single-lot record of $80,000 was set in 2007. Perennial auctioneer Fritz Hatton worked the bidding war that roared quickly into six figures as the audience of bidders and vintners cheered. When the gavel fell, the crowd jumped to their feet in rousing applause.

Ichizo Nakagawa when asked why he battled for the lot said, “When I came to the auction, I intended to get that wine no matter what it took.” Nakagawa purchased five lots in total.

“I’m amazed, I’m shocked,” said Scarecrow owner Bret Lopez stepping outside to catch his breath. “We never dreamed we’d reach this stature and (winemaker) Celia Welsh is a genius, a humble genius who coaxes the sublime flavors from the old men,” referring to the 66-year-old-vines that produce just a 1/2 ton per acre.