A past Auction Napa Valley is pictured above, by Alexander Rubin for Napa Valley Vintners, but changes are afoot.
With its usual location, Meadowood resort, still in the process of reconstruction after serious fire damage plus the small matter of a global pandemic, the non-profit organisation Napa Valley Vintners have been examining alternatives and supplements to their famous annual Auction Napa Valley in aid of healthcare and education for those who work in their vineyards.
The old format included a week of glamorous dinners and tastings with the vintners, leading up to a raucous live auction at Meadowood every summer – but not this one.
Napa Valley Vintners have just announced a radical change in modus operandi with the creation of Collective Napa Valley, a new and expanded year-round philanthropy programme with the aim of providing opportunities for ‘the wine community to connect with a broader and more diverse consumer audience and leverage the region’s assets for the good of its community’. So you no longer need to be in the Valley to participate.
Blakesley Chappellet, who is Auction Napa Valley past chair and co-leader of the Auction Napa Valley reimagining committee (sic), explains, ‘Our vision with Collective Napa Valley is to expand our wine community and to provide a variety of ways throughout the year to engage Napa Valley wine consumers in our backyard and anywhere in the world.’
Seasonal campaigns will include special elements such as:
- In-person fundraising endeavours such as a wine futures auction, harvest gatherings, private winery dinners and vintner-led experiences.
- Virtual opportunities focused on wine education with special wine offerings.
- Opportunities to take Napa Valley on the road to domestic and international markets to broaden the Collective and its philanthropic spirit.
A structure of tiered options to access special offerings will be created and announced at a later date. NVV will also seek to partner with organisations with common values who will join in its philanthropic efforts.
Over the last 40 years Napa Valley Vintners have raised more than $200 million to care for and support the Napa Valley community. ‘Through Collective Napa Valley, we will come together more often and each endeavour will be tied to an established financial target with a specific theme for giving’, explained John Hamilton, community board member.
Expect more NVV announcements in the future but the first gathering of Collective Napa Valley is planned for the week of 1–5 June 2022 to include the Napa Valley Futures Auction and other activities. Première Napa Valley, the barrel auction for the wine trade, is planned for the third week in February 2022.