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Record $6 Million Raised at Premiere Napa Valley 2015

Fueled by passionate bidding, the Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) raised a record $6 million on Saturday, February 21, 2015 at the 19th annual Premiere Napa Valley tasting and barrel auction.

“We were honored to kick off a day of exuberant bidding with the first auction lot and are touched, humbled and grateful for the generosity of our friends in the trade,” exclaimed Emma Swain, vice chairman of the NVV Board of Directors, Premiere Napa Valley chair and CEO of St. Supéry Estate Vineyards & Winery. “The record results speak for the wonderful support of Napa Valley as a world-class growing region.”

Premiere Napa Valley showcases the region’s commitment to producing innovative wines of the highest quality by encouraging winemakers to create wine lots made from specific blocks of vines, blending juice from multiple sub-appellations, collaborating in distinct ways with other noted winemakers and, in general, uniquely expressing the story of Napa Valley’s diverse grape growing and winemaking styles within each bottle. 

This year's 225 auction lots, created for and sold exclusively at PNV, are some of Napa Valley’s rarest wines - crafted in micro-lots of as few as 60 bottles and never more than 240.

This year’s event raised just slightly more than last year’s record-breaking total of $5.9 million, which doubled the previous record of $3.1 million raised in 2012. The average wholesale price per bottle sold was $286, reflecting the premium nature of these limited-edition wines.

Considered one of the wine industry’s most sought-after events, Premiere Napa Valley 2015 sold out more than a month in advance. Held at the Culinary Institute of America’s Greystone campus in St. Helena, the event  was attended by more than 700 trade and media guests who traveled from eight countries and 30 different states. “We are happy to be back once again to support Napa Valley” noted Cristina Pearce of Total Wine, this year's top bidder. “The 2013 vintage has excellent wines to offer and we are excited about the lots we were able to obtain today. We can't wait to show them to our customers."

This year’s 70 successful bidders, all members of the wine trade (such as retailers, restaurateurs, importers and distributors), will make these highly-collectible wines available to their customers under the Premiere Napa Valley wine label.

Some trends noticed at this year’s event: the top twenty lots included both classic brands and newcomers to the Napa Valley; longtime bidders demonstrated their continued support, along with new members of the trade who vied for this year’s wines; interest in Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon continues to be strong; and there was a near-universal appeal found in the balanced wines from the 2013 vintage presented today.

This year's top earning lots included: BRAND Napa Valley; Chateau Boswell Winery; Fairchild Napa Valley; Gandona Estate; Shafer Vineyards; Pulido~Walker; Memento Mori; a collaboration between CONSTANT, David Arthur, Italics and Reynolds Family Winery; Silver Oak Cellars; and Rombauer Vineyards.

Top trade accounts bidding at the event included: Total Wine & More; Cliffewood Wine Syndicate; Gary’s Wine & Marketplace; Wine Library; Beverage Warehouse; Nakagawa Wine Co.; The Wine House; N16 Cellars; Meritage Wine Market; and Veraison.

The PNV barrel tasting and auction is the final event of “Premiere Week,” as it has become known, which includes numerous educational programs and professional tastings hosted throughout Napa Valley each February, including: Sommelier Napa Valley; The Symposium for Professional Wine Writers at Meadowood Napa Valley; the Vintage Perspective and Retrospective Tasting; numerous winery-hosted tastings and events; and Napa Valley wine promotions at local restaurants.

Those interested in procuring these high-quality, limited production wines can obtain information at

About the Napa Valley Vintners

The Napa Valley Vintners nonprofit trade association has been cultivating excellence since 1944 by inspiring its more than 500 members to consistently produce wines of the highest quality, to provide environmental leadership and to care for the extraordinary place they call home. Proceeds from Premiere Napa Valley are used to support the nonprofit trade association’s mission to promote, protect and enhance the Napa Valley appellation. Learn more at

Photography by Bob McClenahan for NVV