Napa Valley Premiere and the 2017 Vintage

Elaine Chukan Brown reports on the annual Napa Valley Premiere – a preview of Napa’s latest vintage – where buyers bid on wines made specially for the auction

WORDS BY ELAINE CHUKAN BROWN

The crowd erupted into cheers. Winemaker Aaron Pott stood on stage and grabbed the microphone. “Are you ready?” he yelled. “Let’s get it on!” More than 1200 wine trade professionals – winemakers, sales people, buyers, and journalists – filled the upstairs hall of Greystone, home to the Culinary Institute of America and one of Napa Valley’s most venerated historic buildings. Dance music burst through the speakers and the crowd cheered wildly. The annual Napa Valley Premiere auction, with Pott as this year’s honorary chairman, had officially begun.

Over the next four hours 185 auction lots were sold to raise almost $3.7 million “to help the Napa Valley Vintners and their ongoing effort to promote, protect, and enhance” California’s most renowned wine region.

Napa Valley Premiere is a preview of Napa’s latest vintage. It’s a model originated by Bordeaux and brought to a level of indulgent celebration only possible in California. The day comes with surprise musical interludes, and snack breaks of artisanal foods made in the region.

Unlike Bordeaux, buyers at Premiere bid on unique wines made specially for the auction. Buyers range from retail giants looking to score coveted brands at ….

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