Friday, June 21, 2013

Share your summer photo, win a trip to the Napa Valley

From our vineyards and wineries to your beach, barbecue, pool or picnic, there's a Napa Valley wine to perfectly complement your summer story. While you're sipping those crisp whites and refreshing rosés, we hope you'll share the moment with us -- from the expected to the unexpected, we want to know how Napa Valley wine helps you chill this summer.

One unexpected story might be that Napa Valley is the official wine region of the 34th America's Cup coming to San Francisco this summer. Share a photo of your unexpected Napa Valley summer story and you could win a Napa Valley/34th America's Cup getaway.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Extending our Gratitude to the Community

On behalf of the Napa Valley Vintners (NVV), we wish to extend our congratulations and sincere appreciation to the entire Napa Valley community on the success of Auction Napa Valley 2013. Thanks to the generosity of our bidders, vintners, partners, donors, local businesses and volunteers, this year’s Auction shattered numerous records and raised an astounding $16.9 million for our community. It is an unprecedented windfall for Napa County.

This year’s Auction was truly a show-stopper. One of those rare moments in time when months of hard work by many people, strong relationships, a recovering economy and the bounty of this special place converge to create a memorable event. We may not see another year like this for a long time and we are grateful for the magical combination that made this year’s Auction one for the record-books.

While many are eager to learn where the unanticipated proceeds will go, the NVV is committed to using its thoughtful and analytical process to assure all our contributors that their donations will create the greatest impact and will help meet our goal to give deeply rather than broadly in the areas of community health and children’s education.

We are grateful to the bidders, the vintners and the 500 community volunteers who, year after year, work together to showcase what makes Napa Valley such a special place -- good food, great wine and a community spirit unlike any other.

Bruce Cakebread
President and CEO, Cakebread Cellars
President, 2013 Napa Valley Vintners Board of Directors

Monday, June 3, 2013

2013 Auction Napa Valley Shatters Records with $16.9 Million Fundraising Total

This year's Auction Napa Valley was one for the record books, achieving $16.9 million in overall fundraising for healthcare and youth education nonprofits in Napa County. The American Wine Classic's record-breaking results exceeded the previous record of $10.5 million raised in 2005 by more than 60 percent, reaffirming Auction Napa Valley's position as the world's most celebrated charity wine event.

"Even after 33 years, Auction Napa Valley still has some surprises up its sleeve," commented Shari Staglin, owner and CEO of Staglin Family Vineyard. "We are grateful to the bidders, the vintners and the 500 community volunteers who, year after year, work together to showcase what makes Napa Valley such a special place -- good food, great wine and a community spirit unlike any other. So many lives will be changed by the 'irrational generosity' of the wonderful bidders from around the globe. Our family thanks them from the bottom of our hearts." Shari, husband Garen and children Shannon and Brandon served as honorary chairs of this year's Auction Napa Valley.

Read the full release and view quotes from the event

Access hi-resolution photos from the Auction Napa Valley SmugMug gallery

Download an MP3 of "Walk With Me," an original song written for Auction Napa Valley by Billy Dean, Jeff Gargiulo and Monty Powell and sung by Billy Dean, Jeff Gargiulo on guitar, recorded at Monty Powell's studio and produced by Monty Powell.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Auction Napa Valley 2013 Topples Previous Fundraising Records

This year's Auction Napa Valley, the world's most celebrated charity wine event, is on track to exceed an astounding $16 million in total funds raised. Although the final tally won't be certified until the event officially ends with Sunday night's close of the E-Auction, officials at the Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) are declaring the 2013 event a record-breaker. This total tops the previous Auction fundraising record of $10.5 million set in 2005, the 25th anniversary of the event.

Learn more.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

LIVE From Auction Napa Valley!

Follow all of the Auction Napa Valley excitement with our live video coverage with Master Sommelier Andrea Robinson!

Friday, May 31, 2013

Welcome to Auction Napa Valley from the Staglin Family!

The 33rd annual Auction Napa Valley is here!  Guests to Auction will be “marveled” by the must-see-to-believe Auction lots, the abundance of world-class cuisine and wine from Napa’s finest vintners and restaurateurs.  In return, guests’ bids at Auction contribute to the resulting “miracles” of funding for healthcare and children’s education in the Napa community. 

This year, Napa Valley is blessed to celebrate the marvels and miracles created at Auction with honorary chairs, the Staglin family of Staglin Family Vineyard.  During all of the hustle and bustle in preparation for the upcoming spectacle, Shannon Staglin, president of Staglin Family Vineyard, took the time to answer a few questions about this auction, which is so near and dear to her heart…
In two sentences or less describe what Auction Napa Valley means to your winery?
Shannon: “Auction Napa Valley is one of the most exciting weekends of the year, where you go to amazing parties, catch up with old friends, meet new people, eat great food, drink delicious wines and most importantly help raise money for education and healthcare in the Napa County.”
Price aside, what would be your ideal Auction Lot?
Shannon: “All of the auction lots this year are absolutely amazing and I would be elated if I were to be able to win any one of them! “
What wineries are you excited to visit during the Auction Napa Valley Market Place on Friday?
Shannon: “The wine highlights on Friday are the incredible barrel lots guests have the opportunities to taste and potentially purchase.  This is the only event in the world where the winemakers and proprietors bring their barrels to you to taste!”
What is your favorite event during Auction Napa Valley?
Shannon: “The weekends’ excitement culminates at the Saturday Live Auction where everyone comes together to celebrate and raise their paddles for amazing, “money-can’t-buy” experiences paired with one-of-a-kind selections of wines.”
Auction Napa Valley sets the bar high for all other charity wine auctions and with the Staglin family hosting, 2013 is sure to be a great year!
Anie Peszynski
#ANV13 Social Media Crew
Blackbird Vineyards

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Auction Napa Valley's Impact on our Community

Since the first Auction Napa Valley in 1981, more than $110 million has been given to nonprofit agencies in Napa County to help create a healthy community and support children's education.

We are proud of our partnerships with nonprofit organizations that are helping build strong families, providing preventative and acute medical care, allowing children to start off right so they can be successful and providing basic needs to the most vulnerable people in our community.

Did you know?

·  $1,000 - covers one year in a teen mentoring program

·  $5,000 - provides 33 well baby check-ups

·  $10,000 - pays for after school tutoring for 50 kids

·  $25,000 - funds an innovative math program for 800 students

·  $50,000 - insures 200 kids for a year

·  $100,000 - funds a new ultrasound machine

Read more about Auction Napa Valley's impact on our Napa County neighbors.

Auction Napa Valley: A Miracle Brought to Life

Napa Valley evokes images of California Wine Country and impressive vintners who have international recognition. Looking in from the outside one may miss a very important piece to the valley. In fact, this piece is probably the most important of them all, community. The best sense of this was summed up in a quote I repeat regularly from the North Bay Bohemian, "The rest of the world calls them rock stars but we call them neighbors."

The community of farmers and vintners that founded this valley worked together to make Napa Valley the amazing place it is today. The people of the area are the strength of the valley. The spirit of community involvement and giving has only grown as the Napa Valley has become more successful.

The Napa Valley Vintners has always recognized that the community makes us who we are and through Auction Napa Valley continues to deliver funds to local Napa Valley nonprofits that help keep the area we live in one of the best places on the planet. These non profits do everything from help keep Napa Valley green to assisting community members in their greatest times of need.

NEWS (Napa Emergency Women’s Services) has been helping those in need in Napa Valley for more than 30 years. Founded in 1981, NEWS created a shelter and services for victims of domestic violence at a time when these issues were not being addressed. In the beginning, the founding members of NEWS were unsure where their funding would come from or if it would come at all. Much has changed since then. The organization now thrives from community support to help women and children in need. Needless to say, the services have expanded to encompass all of the needs of the victims of domestic violence. From basic shelter to assistance with legal issues, help with children and a comprehensive website to assist remotely; the website has a panic button to shut down the page quickly in case danger is looming.

We applaud all of the hard working, selfless individuals that make NEWS a viable community service. Though NEWS now has multiple revenue streams to keep them going strong, the Napa Valley Vintners recognize the important work of the organization and donate generously from the funds raised at Auction Napa Valley.

Yes, Auction Napa Valley is a amazing experience . Yes, Auction Napa Valley has some of the best wine and food in the world. Yes, Auction Napa Valley has some of the best of the best on the planet. All of this is a miracle brought to life in Napa Valley by the Napa Valley Vintners that is then turned into marvels by you, the Auction attendee. Miracles that save lives by funding amazing nonprofits like NEWS.

Looking forward to seeing you all at Auction Napa Valley and continuing to make Napa Valley one of the best places on earth.

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, there is help. Please go to the NEWS website today and find people that are there for you.

Christophe Smith
Titus Vineyards
#ANV13 Social Media Crew
@Cork_Dork, @TitusVyds

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Auction Napa Valley: Helping at-risk youth

Our youth are at risk, and it is up to us as a community to come together to keep them safe. According to California statistics, “By the 8th grade, 29.5 percent of adolescents have consumed alcohol, 15.5 percent have smoked cigarettes, and 15 percent have used marijuana.” This is the reason prevention, treatment, and emotional support for youth are vitally important.

This is the mission of the Wolfe Center, which annually serves approximately 1,000 adolescents, ages 12 to 18, and their families. They aim to reduce the impact of alcohol and other drug abuse on our youth, families, schools and communities. As they are the only service provider of adolescent drug and alcohol use and abuse prevention, intervention and treatment services in Napa County, they need support from you.

Auction Napa Valley is one of the main supporters of this noble, vital organization. Proceeds from this Auction go to support community health and children's education programs. To date, Auction Napa Valley has given more than $110 million to dozens of worthwhile organizations such as the Wolfe Center.

While I may not have any children myself, I am blessed with a partner who teaches more than one hundred high school students each school year. Struggles with substance abuse are a major obstacle standing between too many of these students and academic success. Left untreated, these students do not gain the skills they need to become active, contributing members of our society. Programs designed by organizations such as the Wolfe Center are quintessential to the success rate of our youth and the strength of our community in the Napa Valley.

J Brewner
#ANV13 Social Media Crew
Judd's Hill

Happy Auction Napa Valley Week!

Thanks to the generosity of vintners, bidders and volunteers, Auction Napa Valley has become the must attend charity food and wine event, and has allowed the NVV to donate more than $110 million dollars to important causes in our community since 1981.

As we begin this week, we'd like to extend a special thank you to the dozens of local Napa Valley restaurants and food purveyors who will give of their time and talent at the Napa Valley Barrel Auction on Friday. All of this support really demonstrates one of the Auction's major themes: neighbors helping neighbors.

Join us in saying thank you to these acclaimed establishments by visiting one or more of them next time you dine out.

*Napa Valley wines featured throughout the year.
**Special Napa Valley wine promotion for Auction week.
The E-Auction is open for bidding

Napa Valley Register's coverage of Auction Napa Valley

Napa Valley Register's editorial on Auction Napa Valley

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

"Gifts from Heaven!" Auction Napa Valley at work in St. Helena

It is easy to look at St Helena and assume this picturesque town escapes the problems that occur in every town big or small.  Our historic main street and acres of perfectly manicured vineyards paint a beautiful scene but the residents here live relatively normal lives and from time to time require assistance.

Thankfully there is an organization here to help them, St Helena Family Center.  The idea was launched in 2003 by a group of St Helena residents, one of which spent a lot of time working on low income housing projects.  They received their 501c3 in 2005 and opened their doors in 2006 two blocks off main street.  Their mission was simple: To serve the community around them in any way they could.

Over the years they have, with partial funding from the Napa Valley Vintners, been able to grow and increase the number of services they offer, a list that seems to go on and on.  They partner with over 30 different organizations in Napa county to help them fulfill their mission and can now connect people with everything from Mental Health services to legal aid. 

They also offer a selection of their own services and programs to help families, like their early education program, a preschool program for families that can't afford traditional early education.  Another program, Raising a Reader, helps parents understand the importance of reading to their children.  They can help with the little things, like check-free bill pay, all the way to more complicated issues such as immigration. 

The director, Sara Cakebread, has been involved with the Family Center in a multitude of ways since 2006 and took over the role of Executive Directer in 2011.  Her passion for helping the families of St Helena not only survive, but thrive, is very evident.  I was touched by her heart-felt stories of the people whose lives the Family Center has changed. She told me one story of a single mother that came knocking on the door because she had heard the Family Center could help with health care.  By the end of the day her daughter had a new pair of glasses that have helped her increase her grades in school.  Something so simple for families that have access to health care, but much harder for those who do not. 
The Napa Valley Vintners have been providing grants to the Family Center since 2007 after Sara wrote a grant proposal. "The gift on unrestricted funds from the Vintners is a gift from heaven!"  We are just glad to help an organization that for so many is a gift from heaven. 

If you are interested in helping out the St. Helena Family Center and many other amazing organizations that serve Napa County please check out the wonderful E-Auction Lots!

Rebecca Martin
Chase Cellars
#ANV13 Social Media Crew


Friday, May 24, 2013

Auction Napa Valley: Supporting Big Brothers, Big Sisters

Big Brothers, Big Sisters (BBBS) of the North Bay, a beneficiary of Auction Napa Valley funding, has a longstanding history of serving the Napa Valley. The first chapter of BBBS of Marin began in 1970 and in 1999 a Napa chapter was added.
I reached out to Lauren Grayman, executive director of the North Bay chapter, to get more information about the organization and how funds from Auction Napa Valley support it's mission. When we spoke, it quickly became obvious she has deep respect for the organization and what it represents. She also has a personal attachment to the program. She had a “Big Sister," Julie, who during high school walked her to class and introduced her to people. Julie helped her socialize in her new surroundings and made her feel special and, more importantly, comfortable. Lauren herself became a “Big Sister” her senior year and in college joined the “Big Sibling” group. When she realized the group didn't have much of a voice, she ran for president and was elected.
I learned from Lauren that youth mentored through the program consistently show marked and lasting improvements in many facets of their lives. Independent research conducted in a landmark study by Public Private Ventures found that:
  • 52% of youth enrolled in BBBS mentoring programs feel more confident in their schoolwork,
  • 31% have higher educational expectations,
  • 41% achieve higher grades in all core subjects,
  • 65% reached a higher level of education than they ever thought possible,
  • 52% are less likely to skip a day of school and have three times fewer drop outs,
  • 46% are less likely to use drugs,
  • and overall, students are four times less likely to be arrested or have a teen pregnancy.
When I asked Lauren what part of the organization has benefited most from the Napa Valley Vintners' donation through Auction Napa Valley, she said “There have been many benefits from the Vintners' support. One of the key benefits is that being involved with the Auction has given BBBS of the North Bay wonderful exposure to the Napa community. We have been given the opportunity to be involved in this amazing event and it has given us the opportunity to meet new supporters and serve many more youth in Napa.”
BBBS of North Bay is currently seeking “Bigs” to match to the current 15 Napa children waiting for a match, with more still in process. To volunteer check out

Learn more about organizations, like Big Brothers, Big Sisters, that are supported by Auction Napa Valley giving.

Shelby Tashlin
Redmon Wines
#ANV13 Social Media Crew
@RedmonWines & @STashNV

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Auction Lot #24 is "Bellissimo!"

Once upon a time, luxury and philanthropy collided, and Auction Napa Valley was born! Now in its 33rd year, and having already given more than $110 million for charity, Auction (as the locals like to call it) attracts affluent donation sponsors from around the globe, all in the name of good-will.

Auction Lot #24, a package drowning in opulence and affluence, is a collaboration between the Napa Vintners and Bulgari – one of the world’s utmost designers of renowned fine jewelry.

Based in Rome, Italy, since 1884, Bulgari’s rich history and ingrained commitment to charitable giving is as “jewel-studded” as the universal selection of A-list celebrities associated with this unrivaled luxury brand – Stars like Elizabeth Taylor, Julianne Moore and Clive Owen have all donned Bulgari’s pieces in advertising, alongside others who promote Bulgari’s “The Ring” program which benefits “Save the Children.”

This year, Lot #24 – “Magnificenza Italiana” – offers the successful bidder unparalleled access to Bulgari’s retrospective exhibition opening at the De Young Museum in San Francisco, a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry designed by the winner and Bulgari, and a three-night stay at the Hassler Roma in Rome, Italy, alongside 40 magnums of wine from a selection of Napa Valley’s most renowned vintners – one bottle for each year of Bulgari’s work that will be on display in the exhibit.

Whether or not you speak Italian, this package will make you shout, “Bellissimo!”

Victoria Amato
#ANV13 Social Media Crew
Blackbird Vineyards

Monday, May 20, 2013

Show Us Your Sign

The Welcome to Napa Valley signs, first dedicated by the Napa Valley Vintners in 1950, are receiving some much-needed repairs to ensure they'll be around to greet visitors for at least another 60 years.

From now through June, while the signs are getting their facelift, we pay tribute to these Napa Valley icons by inviting friends and fans of our wine region from around the world to share their favorite photos taken in front of one of the signs. Join the celebration by posting your own photos and by encouraging your mailing list or club members to share theirs.

Post your Welcome to Napa Valley sign photos by June 30.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Introducing the #ANV13 Social Media Crew

It's May in the Napa Valley, which means Auction Napa Valley is right around the corner! For those who don't know, Auction Napa Valley, the must-attend charity event for savvy wine lovers from around the world, is a three-day food and wine extravaganza that raises funds for Napa County non-profit organizations. Since 1981, Auction Napa Valley has donated more than $110 million to local causes – wow! The event, proudly hosted by the NVV, is all about neighbors helping neighbors – from  extraordinary wines to must-see-to-believe auction lots donated by Napa Valley wineries, what’s raised here, stays here supporting healthcare and youth education from American Canyon to Calistoga.

There are so many amazing stories to tell the week of Auction Napa Valley - about the event, the participating vintners and the beneficiaries - that this year we've engaged an Auction Napa Valley Social Media Crew, a group of social-media savvy vintners, to help us share the excitement of Auction with our fans and followers. We extend a huge thank you to these crew members:

Christophe Smith, Titus Vineyards, @Cork_Dork & @TitusVyds
Anie Peszynski, Blackbird Vineyards, @Blackbird_Wines & @aniewinealot
Gretchen Keith, HALL wines, @HALLwines & @gretchen_keith
Rebecca Martin, Chase Cellars, @ChaseCellars & @napawinegal
Shelby Tashlin, Redmon Wines, @RedmonWines & @STashNV
J Brewner, Judd’s Hill, @partypartyparty
Holly McDow, Somerston Wines, @SomerstonWineCo & @holldoll31

Starting this week, each crew member will be writing guest blog posts about Auction Napa Valley for UNFILTERED. On Twitter, along with following the #ANV13 twitter handle, keep an eye out for tweets from these crew members - and, of course, @
NapaVintners - leading up to and during Auction. These folks will be our eyes and ears throughout the valley - and your back-stage pass to Auction Napa Valley.

Cheers to our #ANV13 vintner social media mavens!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

E-Auction Extravaganza is Live for Viewing

Wine lovers around the world, from novice to enthusiast, can still get in on the action of this year's sold-out Auction Napa Valley by bidding on the event's global E-Auction. Viewing of the more than 170 uniquely exciting lots is now live at

The E-Auction opens on Sunday, May 26 at 12 p.m. PDT and the e-gavel will fall in four waves starting at 6 p.m. PDT on Sunday, June 2.

Learn more.
View the lots.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

If I had a million dollars...

That popular refrain from that Barenaked Ladies song has been going through my head the past couple of days. It often does at this time of year, as we approach our annual Auction Napa Valley fundraiser and celebration of all the things that make Napa Valley special - wine, cuisine and the scenic beauty of this amazing place. But, perhaps, the thing that is most special is the coming together of the vintners and the local community to make a difference for those most in need in Napa County.

The NVV just announced $1 million in funding per year for at least the next three years to help close the academic achievement gap in Napa County. The first year of funding for this endeavor comes from proceeds of last year's Auction Napa Valley.

The initiative will specifically target English-learning students at the preschool level, and will also provide parental support services in our local school neighborhoods with the greatest need. Not only will this help these youngsters to get a better start in school, it will ultimately benefit us all as studies indicate these kind of programs result in higher graduation rates, lower arrest rates and reliance on social services, along with greater lifetime earnings (and the resulting tax revenue). It's an idea that state and federal leaders have also identified as a priority.

The contribution from Auction Napa Valley 2012 is just a portion of the total proceeds that were given to area non-profits. In total, the NVV has given $7 million this past year to a variety of community partners - you can read more about it in our recently published Annual Report.
If I had a million dollars, I'm not sure what I would do, but I do know that I'm grateful for the generosity of our vintners, our bidders and our community so that the NVV could do this.
Patsy McGaughy
Communications Director
Napa Valley Vintners

Friday, April 19, 2013

What Auction Napa Valley Means to Me

I moved to Napa Valley five years ago, not only to follow my passion of food and wine, but more importantly because I knew that Napa Valley is an incredibly special place to call home.  For months after I first moved here I kept hearing about Auction Napa Valley - fortunately my employer at the time sent me along. I will always remember that first year. I was amazed by the sheer size of it all, what a production!  I truly have never felt that fabulous in my life, running around rubbing elbows with Thomas Keller and Oprah, but more importantly I started to understand what Auction Napa Valley means to everyone here.

To this day I have yet to miss an Auction; I even changed my travel plans and moved back from New Zealand two days before the 2009 Auction so I wouldn’t break my streak.  Auction is my favorite time of year, not only because I have so much fun, but because I am so proud to be involved in an event that does so much good for the community, to date the Napa Vintners have raised more than 111 million dollars for the people of Napa Valley!
This year is going to be a very special year for me.  It is the first year I helped make the wine that we are donating and it is the first year Chase Cellars is participating in the barrel auction.   For my sixth Auction I actually get to be a real part of the action and make a real contribution to all of the wonderful work the Napa Vintners do in the community I love so much.
Rebecca Martin
Chase Cellars

Auction Napa Valley Social Media Crew
(P.S. Want to experience Auction Napa Valley for yourself? Enter our ticket giveaway.)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Napa Vintners Head to China

Our international NVV road warrior, Cessa Beckett, is in China with vintners this week!

Day 1 Quite an experience and very successful. Hangzhou is on the south east coast of China at the southern end of the Yangtze River Delta so there are lots of lakes around the city. A very pretty place with lots of trees and flowers and a population of about 7 million.

Our first seminar got underway slowly – no one gets here on time – but eventually we had 30+ attendees, which was as expected. Our two events in the evening were extraordinary - eight vintners went to pour at Ruby Red, a high end retailer in the city. The 80 guests were all under age 35. Another ten of us went to the Blossom Water Museum Hotel for the Charity Dinner & Auction where another 80 wine-loving consumers joined us, plus Tim Hanni, MW (from Napa) who is employed by the Blossom Group to train them about wine and just happened to be there this weekend. This event was a true Chinese banquet experience – the entire dinner was served on massive lazy Susans in the middle of each large table. After a presentation about the Blossom Company, the charity and more, we ate dinner and then the auction began. Oh boy! I can’t begin to describe it! Wine auctions are not yet commonplace in China, so this was a different experience than a charity auction in the US. But, the charity helps really, really poor children in rural areas and we raised about $3,000 from our 8 or so wine lots. This could build a whole house in this part of the world! It was a very humbling experience. 

On Monday, we hosted events in Shanghai. We kicked off the day with a workshop for the travelling vintners to help them better understand the China wine market. Mid-day, three of our vintner leaders were interviewed by several Chinese media, including TV. This was followed immediately by the trade and media seminar, which was fabulous with some 50+ attendees – an absolutely full house with a few people standing in the back. Then we had the trade tasting with a full house of 200+ quality trade and media. The day concluded with a consumer tasting with Napa Reserve at the House of Roosevelt, overlooking the Bund. Tomorrow we are hosting an educational seminar for university students during the day and more consumer events in the evening in Shanghai, then it’s off to Beijing and Xi’an by the weekend.

Cessa Beckett
International Marketing Manager
Napa Valley Vintners

Friday, April 12, 2013

Napa Vintners Do Care About Climate Change

Since 2006, numerous studies and headlines have repeatedly positioned Napa Valley as a poster child for the devastating effects of climate change. The Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) trade association, known for nearly 70 years in the global wine industry for its forward-thinking leadership on tough issues and protection of the unique place that is Napa Valley, has made no exception when it comes to the topic of climate change.

Understanding how climate change might affect our region specifically is critical to the future of the Napa Valley wine industry, which generates $50 billion for the U.S. economy and more than 300,000 jobs in our country. So the NVV decided in 2006 to form a Climate Change Task Force to better understand the issue. The task force was led by Dr. Dan Cayan and his renowned team of climate scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego.

Working with vintners, growers and weather stations around Napa Valley, the Scripps science team collected data from 12,000 points in Napa Valley and from this massive collection of grass-roots data, assembled its final report:
"Climate and Phenology in Napa Valley: A Compilation and Analysis of Historical Data" by Dan Cayan, Kimberly Nicholas, Mary Tyree and Michael Dettinger.

The report, released in February 2011, indicates that Napa Valley has warmed slightly over recent decades, but not to the degree that has been reported in the studies noted above, which analyze broader California weather station data. According to the Napa Valley-specific data analyzed for our report, the warming we have experienced, one to two degrees Fahrenheit, has taken place primarily in overnight temperatures between the months of January to August. In fact, Napa Valley has actually experienced cooler daytime temperatures and increased marine fog influence during the summer growing season in recent years.
Although part of the greater California wine industry, Napa Valley is a unique place and is best understood by looking at appellation-specific data. Climate change can and will affect all fine wine-growing regions worldwide, but the results will not necessarily be a blanket effect, as climate change is not a "one size fits all" phenomenon. This is a very long-term issue which vintners and growers around the world need to pay attention to and be directly involved with. At the end of the day, vintners and grape growers are farmers. As no two harvests are the same, farmers must successfully adapt, harvest to harvest, season to season, year to year and have done so for nearly two centuries in the Napa Valley, and for many thousands of years worldwide. For the farmer, change is not only inevitable; it is a way of life.

Patsy McGaughy
Communications Director
Napa Valley Vintners

Win Tickets to Auction Napa Valley


Friday, April 5, 2013

How much do you know about Napa Green?

New news about Napa Green! In a month that shines the spotlight on environmental stewardship, we've announced that the Napa Green program has increased the total number of certified acres by 22% over the past two years. Currently, there are 32,437 acres certified and another 23,000 enrolled in the program, bringing the total Napa County acreage covered by Napa Green to more than 55,000 acres.

How much do you know about the Napa Green program? Test your knowledge by taking this quiz.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Wines from 2011 Vintage Propel Premiere Napa Valley to Near-Record Total

We are enormously grateful to raise $3.04 million today to further our efforts to promote, protect and enhance the Napa Valley. Cheers to the bidders and vintners who came together today to create a remarkable Premiere Napa Valley! 

Steve Reynolds' - of Reynolds Family Winery - double gavel start to Premiere Napa Valley 2013
Thanks to you the Napa Valley shined with its world-class wines and hospitality throughout the week, and the relationships we nurtured will help keep the appellation strong for years to come.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Michael Baldacci of Baldacci Family Vineyards shares some favorite #PNV13 lots

Premiere Napa Valley week is finally here! The Napa Valley has come alive with excitement and anticipation of this year's auction.

Three lots that I am looking forward to tasting on Saturday are Reynolds Family Winery, Cakebread Cellars, and the Ghost Block/Markham Vineyards joint lot...and of course, I must include mention of our lot from Baldacci Family Vineyards.

Steve Reynolds, Reynolds Family Winery
 Steve Reynolds, the winemaker at Reynolds Family Vineyards, is the chair of this year's Premiere Napa Valley. While he has worked many long hours to put the auction together, Steve has also labored over the wine that he will be donating to this year’s auction - a Cabernet Sauvignon, with a touch of Cabernet Franc and Merlot that all comes from the Stags Leap District. The wine is aged for 20 months in 100% New French Oak. The name of the wine this year is “ONE” to represent “those pioneers’ singular vision of what Napa Valley could be…” As the chair of the auction this year Steve is looking forward to what he calls an event that is “almost like wine heaven.”

The Del Bondio and Pelissa families began harvesting grapes in the valley more than 100 years ago and enjoy a close, multi-generational relationship. To celebrate, Bryan Del Bondio, president of Markham Vineyards and Andrew Hoxsey, proprietor of Ghost Block and grandson of Andrew Pelissa, have joined together for the fifth year to present a powerful blend red blend for Premiere. The fruit comes from Markham's Yountville Vineyard— planted after Prohibition and the source of the winery's Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon—and the Ghost Block Vineyard, part of pioneer George Yount's original land grant where he planted the first grapevines in Napa Valley. Bryan and Andrew offer this wine in honor of historic vineyards, family heritage and more than 100 years of Napa Valley history.

This year Cakebread Cellars honors their founders Jack and Dolores Cakebread. 40 years ago they made 157 cases of Chardonnay, and feel as if the 2012 is one of their best vintages for Chardonnay. The wine is a blend from their Cuttings Wharf vineyard and Foster Road Ranch, two of the four estate vineyards used for our Carneros Chardonnay Reserve. The grapes were hand harvested, whole-cluster pressed and barrel fermented. After four months, they blended the individual lots, and then put them back in barrel for finishing. The wine demonstrates the Cakebread style, with good fruit character—a balanced wine that will age gracefully for 7 -10 years.

What is my family's winery bringing to Premiere Napa valley? Baldacci Family Vineyards is a small family owned estate in the heart of the Stags Leap District. Producing 100% percent cabs since 2000, Premiere Napa Valley is a great time for our winery to show off everything that the Stags Leap District has blessed us with. We've use our ‘best of the best’ for Premiere Napa Valley. Our winemaker, Rolando Herrera, chooses his favorite barrel to feature our Premiere offering. This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, 100% Stags Leap District, First Born will be full of rich red fruit, and dark fruit. This wine still holds true to the Stags Leap District as this Cab can only be described as truly an "iron fist in a velvet glove." It is barrel aged for 22 months in 100% new French Oak, and then bottle aged for 12-14 months prior to release. This Baldacci Family Vineyards Premiere wine is a can’t miss, as Rolando Herrera has taken shaped fruit from the 2011 vintage into a beautiful wine.

I look forward to seeing you at Premiere!

Michael Baldacci
#PNV13 Social Media Crew
Baldacci Family Vineyards

100% Napa Valley By The Glass for PNV Week

In celebration of Premiere Napa Valley week, and to showcase the best our wine region has to offer to the many trade and media who will be in town, the following local restaurants are offering 100% Napa Valley by-the-glass wine lists this week:
    Three cheers for our local restaurants supporting Napa Valley wines!
1313 Main
Bistro Don Giovani
Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen
Cindy Pawlcyn's Wood Grill & Wine Bar
Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch
Hurley's Restaurant
Lucy Restaurant & Bar at Bardessono 
Morimoto Napa
Mustard's Grill
PRESS St. Helena

We encourage you to support and thank these businesses when dining out and entertaining guests this week.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

"Prep your paddles!" J. Brewner from Judd's Hill reporting for #PNV13

Premiere Napa Valley 2013 is all about stellar wines! This is truly the event of the season for any restauranteur or hotelier to get their hands on extremely limited lots of Napa Valley’s finest wines. Four of my personal favorites up for auction are Acacia’s Pinot Noir, Casa Nuestra’s Oakville “Field Blend,” Saintsbury's Pinot Noir and the wonderfully bright Sauvignon Blanc from Coquerel Family Wines.

Acacia Winemaker Matthew Glynn
Acacia Vineyard

Acacia Vineyard has specialized in and become famous for their Pinot Noir. Every year, this winery produces several versions of Pinot, most vineyard-specific wines. 

Acacia Pinot Noir has the typical smoothness of world class Pinot, mixed with delicious fruity and smoky flavors that are accentuated in vineyard specific wines. Each Pinot Noir from Acacia really has its own personality. The Premiere lot is no exception, utilizing the winery's best juice from Carneros. 

Winemaker Matthew Glynn chose a favorite barrel from his favorite block in the estate's flagship Lone Tree Vineyard for this Premiere offering. Located on a southwest-facing slope, this block has an ideal combination of soils, sun exposure and drainage, and consistently delivers the best Pinot Noir from the estate, making it worthy of the Premiere Napa Valley designation. 

This wine is a beautiful mauve color and aromas speak to the luscious Carneros growing region. The wine permeates the glass with elegant aromas of currant, violets, nutmeg and clove, with a hint of herbal expression.  Their light-handed use of previously filled french oak barrels imparts a hint of Tahitian vanilla bean.  On the palate, the wine is light to medium-bodied with bright undertones complimented by illuminating crimson fruit and a luxuriantly earthy finish.

Casa Nuestra Winery & Vineyards

Casa Nuestra literally means “our house” and it certainly feels like home when you visit. This beautiful estate was established back in 1979 in the historic district of St. Helena. All the beautiful fruit found in the Premiere auction lot is organically grown on the estate. Very little electricity is used, as the primary source for powering production is solar. This producer limits its production to 2,000 cases annually, and the auction lot for Premiere is a mere 20 cases. 

The fruit for the 2011 Oakville “Field Blend” blend is grown on the Oakville Grade in the western margin of the appellation, home to several varietals including Negrette, Carignane, Zinfandel, as well as a small amount of Petite Sirah. 2011 was a very mild growing season, and while the 2011 harvest was significantly smaller than usual, the quality of fruit was very good. For Premiere Napa Valley, they selected the crème de la crème of this vintage. 

The wine is brilliant garnet in color. It opens up with robust aromas of dark red fruits, currants, and boysenberry with subtle notes of succulent dark chocolate and cedar completing the nose. Flavors of fresh strawberries and boysenberries are lush and pronounced on the palate, followed by hints of roasted coffee, maple and sweet espresso on the long lasting finish.  This boutique production should be considered a gentle giant, exhibiting cohesive structure balanced by smooth approachability. This Bordeaux style blend is a first-class wine for all occasions. 


With this wine, Saintsbury reverts to the tried-and-true Brown Ranch blocks used for the winery's Premiere Napa Valley wine for the past 10 years—G and H. These blocks are located at the back of the ranch in Carneros. Planted here on the most exposed promontory with the rockiest of droughty soils is the great Pommard clone, which thrives in these challenges. The 2013 Premiere lot encompasses the mantle of great site adversity, draping the broad shoulders of the kingly Pommard in a coolly wonderful growing season capped with the best Indian Summer experience since 1999—in a word, magnificent!

Winemaker Christine Barbe
Coquerel Family Wine Estates

The Coquerel Family Wine Estates Premiere lot is 20 cases of Premiere Sauvignon Blanc crafted in a "Pessac Leognan" style. This beautiful vintage of Calistoga fruit has aromas that are fresh and enticing with bright citrus layers supported by subtle undertones of papaya and green mango. On the palate, the tropical notes come to the forefront with rich, lush layers of guava, passion fruit and lychee, as well as hints of herbs and lemon zest. This wine is beautifully balanced and extremely enjoyable! 

Prep your paddles as these limited release auction lots will go fast. This is your only opportunity to acquire these gems. Each auction lot is so extremely different and reflecting several distinctive appellations. Premiere is the event of the season giving you access to the pristine fruit from some of Napa Valley’s most celebrated vineyards!

J. Brewner
#PNV13 Social Media Crew
Judd's Hill Winery

Friday, February 15, 2013

"Giddy as a School Kid" - A Vintner Perspective on Premiere Napa Valley (#PNV13)

Selling wine on the road to restaurants and retailers can be a tough gig from time to time. That said, there is no better time of year to work for a Napa Valley winery than just ahead of Premiere Napa Valley. There is an instant rapport when I walk into an account and see the Napa Valley Vintners' envelope on the desk of a buyer. Three things happen after I ask if they’re excited about Premiere Napa Valley; the first of which is a very physical reaction. The look is best described as a giddy school kid thinking about a summertime break. Next up, “Does Titus have a lot at Premiere this year?” Lastly they apprehensively ask, “What other lots are you excited about?”

I certainly share that giddy school kid look as I start thinking about all the fantastic, one of a kind wines that will be at Premiere. It never ceases to amaze me the care that goes into creating lots as small as five cases and as big as twenty. These lots represent the best of the best from a particular vintage and will never be recreated. The lucky retailers and restaurants that win these lots will truly have something very unique.

“Does Titus have a lot at Premiere this year?” This year, 2013, I am proud to say that Titus Vineyards will have a five case lot available at Premiere Napa Valley 2013, #PNV13. Titus Vineyards farms two estate vineyards. The main forty acres of estate vineyards are planted adjacent to a 1910 ranch house and include all five Bordeaux varietals as well as Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, and Sauvignon Blanc. For #PNV13 Titus Vineyards focused on the six and a half acres of Cabernet Sauvignon planted at the Ehlers Lane estate. The vineyard is planted in thin, rocky soil atop a volcanic tufa hill, and its row orientation offers beneficial airflow. This five case lot of Cabernet Sauvignon is called Undici Opportunita which is Eleven Opportunity in Italian. The Cabernet from this site was the best fruit to show off opportunities the 2011 vintage offered. This Premiere Napa Valley lot will be sure to have bidders taking notice.

People often wonder if wineries are in constant competition, not liking to talk about or try other wines besides their own. The truth of the matter is that no one in the wine industry would be working in it if we did not like wine. We are the best people to ask ‘what other wines are good out there.' We will likely be honest - even to a fault sometimes. Everyone in Napa Valley is happy to champion the efforts of their friends and neighbors. The only time you may not see that is if we are trying to hoard it for ourselves...or knock off a ‘by the glass’ placement for our own.

One of the first wineries that comes to mind is St Supery Estate Vineyards and Winery. Their twenty case #PNV13 lot of estate, Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon is meant to show off the best of the best from their Rutherford estate vineyards. Planted over twenty five years ago, this California Organic Certified vineyard’s top three blocks were chosen to craft this delicious blend, and I had an opportunity to preview the lot. Subtle oak is present from aging twenty two months in French Oak. The color is a deep, shimmering purple that stains the tears inside the glass. Black cherry, blackberry and complementing oak spill out of the pronounced nose. The palate is supple with focused fruit and the tannins are well integrated. I wouldn’t mind having a glass of this right now. This is going to be an even better wine with time, and is certainly one of the lots to taste if you are at #PNV13. If you are not at Premiere Napa Valley 2013, you may get a chance to try this wine when your favorite retailer or restaurant wins the lot - so stay tuned.

I do hope I get the chance to preview more of these excellent lots, and am able to share additional insider info soon. Keep checking back with the Napa Valley Vintners for the best, up to date inside track to Napa Valley.

Cheers -

Christophe Smith
#PNV13 Social Media Crew
Titus Vineyards