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