Premiere Napa Valley 2007 - 11th Annual Barrel Auction Breaks $2 Million Mark
Association's "Bake Sale" Sets New Record
2/24/2007 - St. Helena, CA - In fast and furious bidding in an over-flowing room of excited retailers, restaurateurs and wholesalers, 192 lots of one-of-a-kind wines from California's Napa Valley were sold at the eleventh annual Premiere Napa Valley® (PNV). The renowned mid-winter barrel auction brought in just over $2.16 million on Saturday, February 24, a 16% increase in revenue over 2006's record-setting earnings. The average case price was $1781.
When the last gavel dropped, overall results for the once again sold out wine trade-only event featuring five-, ten- and 20-case lots of one-of-a-kind Napa wine futures, again proved that Napa Valley wines are a hot commodity and an excellent investment. After a rousing round lasting three hours, 71 successful bidders purchased 192 lots (a 5% increase over 2006), with revenues going to support programs by the Napa Valley Vintners (NVV), the non-profit trade association of more than 280 member wineries that is charged with promoting and protecting the Napa Valley Appellation.
The attendees, comprised of close to 1,000 winemakers, restaurateurs, retailers and wine wholesalers and media, spent the morning shaking hands and trading hugs while barrel tasting wines created exclusively for the event, held at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone. PNV has become the must-attend trade event of the year in Napa Valley
Often referred to as the annual "bake sale," the sole fundraiser for the NVV itself, PNV 2007 was chaired by the de Leuze family of ZD Wines, the Napa Valley winery founded in 1969. Brett de Leuze commented that: "The vibe at the tasting is fantastic. This event is going to rock. We've been at every Premiere, and this is the 'yo' year," referring to the call for good luck at rolling an 11 in craps.
Vintner Chuck McMinn of Vineyard 29 said: "This is the best event we do in Napa Valley for the wine trade. Where else can you see all of your key customers at one time?" Perhaps most rewarding for the vintners is the chance to spend time with customers, many of whom they have been partnering with for years, and who have become good friends. PNV is also a chance for new vintners to showcase their products, like Jeff Smith of Hourglass whose lot took second highest selling price with his first-ever entry in PNV.
Perennial successful bidder Brad Naifeh of Oklahoma said: "This is a win-win situation. I thought I knew everyone in Napa Valley and I met eight or nine new vintners--it was just great." Almost 250 paddle holders, including a number of first time bidders, converged on Napa Valley from as far as New York and Japan, to bid on a total of 1215 cases of wine. Auctioneers Fritz Hatton and Ursula Hermacinski kept a rapid pace in the often heated dueling between bidders. Finishing on top for the day was Gary Fisch, owner of Gary's Wine and Marketplace with three stores in northern New Jersey, who is both a perennial attendee and high bidder. This year Fisch purchased 21 lots totaling 145 cases paying a total of $331,000. When asked what influenced his purchases today, he said: "When we started tasting the 05s last year, we were really excited that these would be wines that'll live a long time. Today, the wines just showed a lot of great character, plus we like to support great friends through this event."
The top bid for the day was $50,000 for Lot # 114, a five case offering from Rombauer Vineyards of 2005 Stice Lane Block D Cabernet Sauvignon sold to V.J. Jazirvar from the Petroleum Club, Oklahoma City, OK. Jazirvar purchased the Rombauer offering last year as well where it was also the top lot of the day.
Marcus Graziano, owner of Capital Cellars in Roseville, CA was the number two bidder this year, picking up 90 cases. At one point in the bidding action, lot 155 from Lewis Cellars had all of the top five paddle holders bidding with the gavel falling to long-time attendee Ichizo Nakagawa from Nakagawa Wine Co., Ltd, of Tokyo, Japan.
Though the top bidders purchased a large number of cases, PNV 11 saw a record number of bidders buying single lots, making these special wines accessible to many retailers and restaurateurs. As the lineage of PNV wines continues to grow, consumers can find where these wines are available at: www.napavintners.com/auctions/Premiere_Wine_Auction/pastresults.asp?wineryname=a
About the NVV
Now in our seventh decade, the Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) trade association is the sole organization responsible for promoting and protecting the Napa Valley Appellation as a winegrowing region second to none in the world. Respect for our history reinforces our commitment to the preservation and enhancement of the Valley's land, wine, and community for future generations. We address the shared interests of our more than 280 members and aspire to be the essential organization for all Napa Valley vintners.
Digital images of Premiere Napa Valley 2007 are available on the Web site in both the Press Room and Auctions links and may be downloaded at 300 dpi at no cost.
Top 10 Bidders
1. Gary's Wine & Marketplace, Madison, NJ
2. Capitol Cellars, Roseville, CA
3. Nakagawa Wine Company, Ltd., Tokyo, Japan
4. The Wine House, Los Angeles, CA
5. Hi-Time Cellars, Costa Mesa, CA
6. Graycliff Hotel and Restaurant, Nassau, Bahamas
7. Petroleum Club, Oklahoma City, OK
8. Willow Park Wine & Spirits, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
9. Fireside Cellars, Santa Monica, CA
10. Fine Wine Source, Livonia, MI
Total Trade and Media Attendees - 650
Representing 81 Restaurant Accounts, 108 Retailers and 108 Distributors and Importers
Lot #114 Rombauer Vineyards
Lot # 30 Hourglass
Lot # 155 Lewis Cellars
Lot #11 Shafer Vineyards
Lot # 149 Joseph Phelps Vineyards
Lot # 48 Cliff Lede Vineyards
Lot # 67 Robert Foley Vineyards and Switchback Ridge
Lot # 120 Viader Vineyards
Lot # 97 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars
Lot # 105 Revana Family Vineyards
Lot # 116 Beringer Vineyards
Lot # 81 D.R. Stephens Estate
Lot # 169 Jones Family Vineyards
Lot # 64 Duckhorn Vineyards
Lot # 75 Hartwell Vineyards
Lot # 173 Saintsbury
Lot # 182 Pride Mountain Vineyards
Lot # 37 Brown Estate Vineyards
Lot # 137 Spottswoode Estate Vineyard and Winery
Lot # 54 Rubicon Estate
Lot # 1 ZD Wines
Lot # 41 Regusci Winery
Lot # 57 Stewart Cellars
Lot # 87 Staglin Family Vineyards
Number of Lots by Wine Variety
Bordeaux-style Blend 21
Cabernet Franc 6
Cabernet Sauvignon: 126
Cabernet Sauvignon-Syrah Blend 1
Cabernet Sauvignon-Zinfandel Blend 1
Nero d'Avolo 1
Petit Verdot 4
Petite Sirah 1
Pinot Noir 5
Proprietary Red Blends 13
Sagrantino Blanc 1
Sauvignon Blanc 1
Sparkling Wine 2
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