I have never been to Auction Napa Valley before. Wow. What a spectacle! It started Thursday night with a spectacular dinner at O'Brien Estate Winery. Bart and Barb O'Brien hosted dinner for about 18 people, some of them who came from across the country to bid thousands of dollars on amazing wine lots and trips, and then there was me, just a guy from the local radio stations. It was a lovely dinner amongst the vines.
Friday was the barrel auction at Raymond Vineyards. What a blast! Judd Finkelstein and I did a live broadcast where we interviewed some of the beneficiaries of the money raised at the auction. Following that, I was able to roam around and sample the wines and amazing food. There were over 100 wines represented and something like 40 restaurants.
Then comes Saturday, the big wazoo! Once again Judd and I put a show together featuring winemakers, chefs and volunteers who help put the whole thing together. The food and wine tent is smaller at Saturday's affair, but more intense as the food was prepared by nine winners of the Top Chef TV show. At 2:00 we all followed the winemaker strolling band into the auction tent. A huge tent that was thankfully air conditioned.
I have to tell you, it is amazing to see these people taking the bids from $10,000 to 2, 3 or even $500,000!
In the end the auction raised 16.9 million dollars for local Napa Valley charities. That is a new record and is a truly amazing thing.
Think about it. These vintners and millionaires do not have to do this. They could sit on their porches drinking wine while looking out over their vineyards, and I'm sure they do that. But they also contribute to the success of this incredible event and make programs possible in Napa that otherwise would not exist.