Napa Valley Wine Auction Bucks Economy to Generate $6.47 Million for Local Charities
Top Lot Goes for $1 Million, Setting Record for World's Largest Charity Auction
6/9/2003 - St. Helena, CA, - The Napa Valley Wine Auction, celebrating its 23rd year, amazed guests on Saturday by raising an incredible $6.47 million - up more than $350,000 from last year - to benefit local Napa County charities.
Held last week, June 5-8, the Wine Auction is hosted annually by the Napa Valley Vintners. This year's Auction was chaired by The Trinchero Family - Bob, Roger, Vera and Evalyn - of Trinchero Family Estates, one of the largest and most historic wineries in Napa Valley. Building on the Auction theme - Copa de Napa - Last of the Red Hot Nightclubs, the Trinchero's energy made for an extremely colorful and exciting four days, matched only by the stellar weather.
The top bidders of the day were John and Tamra Gorman of Austin, Texas who bid $320,000 for the "Bidder's Brand" lot. In a surprise announcement just prior to the lot's opening bid, the Trinchero Family announced they would augment the winning bid up to $1 million - making the Bidder's Brand lot the largest winning live auction lot in the history of the Napa Valley Wine Auction.
The Bidder's Brand lot turns the Gormans into instant vintners. The lot includes all of the key requirements to create a fine Napa Valley wine -- five tons of premium Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon grapes; the expertise of renowned winemaker Philippe Melka; French oak barrels; world-class label design; a sales and marketing plan; wine bottles and packing materials; and, a one-year membership in the Napa Valley Vintners. The result will be 300 cases of vintage 2003 "Gorman" Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon.
"This was the chance of a lifetime and a great way to contribute to a community we love," said John Gorman. "We're hoping to be the best vintners from Texas," he added.
The Gormans spent a total of $627,900 at the Auction on a combination of 57 different live and barrel auction lots, making them the top bidders of the day.
The second-highest top bidder of the day was Dee Lincoln of Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon, Inc., which operates upscale steakhouses throughout the country including Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House in Las Vegas and New York City. Lincoln spent $599,100 on 46 individual lots, including the Robert Mondavi Winery lot that sold for $360,000.
"I just love what I do!" enthused Lincoln. "Steak and wine - is there anything better?" Lincoln asked after her successful bid on the Robert Mondavi lot. The lot includes 90 special bottles representing Robert Mondavi's 90th birthday and includes a complete vertical of cabernet sauvignon reserve from 1966 to 2000, among numerous other historic wines.
The Trinchero Family was more than pleased with the Auction outcome. "In 1948, Dad gave up the wonderful nightlife of New York City to come to the Napa Valley. It was great to relive his passion this week, all for a great cause," said Roger Trinchero, president and chief operating officer of Trinchero Family Estates and son of Sutter Home Winery founder Mario Trinchero.
In another surprise announcement, auctioneer Fritz Hatton announced that longtime Auction top bidder, Raymond Tye of Boston, Massachusetts was donating $25,000 in honor of his son Michael Tye, who passed away last week. Michael, an experienced winemaker, was also the second-generation president and chief executive officer of United Liquors, Massachusetts's largest liquor, beer and wine distributor.
Last year, a full 95 percent of the total dollar amount raised at the Auction went directly to local Napa charitable organizations.
"By any measure, the Auction was an outstanding success," said Clay Gregory, president of the Napa Valley Vintners. "The tone of the weekend was set by the warmth and generosity of the Trincheros who inspired all of the bidders to reach even deeper into their pockets to help the many charities supported by the Wine Auction. From bidders to beneficiaries, and from vintners to volunteers, everyone is thrilled with the results," Gregory added.
The top bid for a case of wine in the barrel auction was shared by two relative newcomers to the Auction - Gargiulo Vineyards and Gemstone. One case of Gargiulo Vineyards' 2002 Merlot sold for $10,000 and one case of Gemstone's 2001 Proprietary Red Wine also sold for $10,000. The top private donor lot, 25 bottles of 1987 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Meritage and Merlot wines was donated by Michael and Joan Zaccaro and sold for $20,000.
The chairpersons for the 2004 Napa Valley Wine Auction were announced at the conclusion of the festivities. The Davies Family - Jamie, Bill and Hugh, of Schramsberg Vineyards in Calistoga. For the past 35 years, Schramsberg has produced some of the world's finest sparkling wine. Next year's Auction will be held June 3-6, 2004.
The Napa Valley Vintners is a professional nonprofit trade organization assisting more than 220 member wineries with marketing, promotion and industry issues throughout the United States and abroad. For more information about the NVV and the Napa Valley, please visit www.napavintners.com.
Auction photos may be downloaded from the NVV Web site beginning Monday, June 9, at 9:00 am. B-roll is available upon request.
2003 Napa Valley Wine Auction Top Overall Lots:
Bidder's Brand: Napa Valley Vintners $1,000,000*
300 cases of custom-made Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Robert Mondavi Winery $ 360,000
90 bottles and vintage wine rack including complete
vertical of Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve
from 1966 to 2000
Harlan Estate $ 340,000
Ten-1.5L bottle vertical of Oakville Cabernet Blend 1990-1999
Oakville Winegrowers $ 160,000
27 etched magnums from member wineries of the Oakville
Winegrowers; wine tasting, dinner and limo service for 8; one wine storage unit
Opus One ` $ 140,000
90 liters of Oakville Opus One in 15 Imperial bottles
Araujo Estate Wines $ 130,000
One 6L bottle of 1999 Araujo Estate Eisele Vineyard Cabernet
Sauvignon and lunch for 8
Colgin Cellars $ 95,000
Two double magnums - one of 1999 Herb Lamb Vineyard
Cabernet Sauvignon and one of 1999 Cariad Napa Valley Red Wine
and one crystal wine vessel
Diamond Creek $ 90,000
9 bottles of Lake Cabernet Sauvignon, representing three decades
Franciscan Oakville Estate $ 75,000
Four, 3L bottles of Magnificat, two nights' accommodations for ten
and one murder mystery dinner for ten
Vineyard 29 $ 75,000
Three large format bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and
Aida Vineyard Red Wine, tour and tasting for 10
*The winning bid for the Bidder's Brand lot was $320,000, offered by John and Tamra Gorman. Raymond Tye donated an additional $25,000 and The Trinchero Family donated the remaining $655,000, to bring the total winning bid amount to a record-breaking $1,000,000.
2003 Top Barrel Lots: (each 10-one case lots)
Shafer Vineyards $46,550
Beringer Vineyards $40,500
Gargiulo Vineyards $39,775
Pride Mountain Vineyards $36,475
Lewis Cellars $35,450
Kuleto Estate Family Vineyards $31,200
Paradigm Winery $30,750
D.R. Stephens Estate $28,100
Top Ten Bidders:
1. John Gorman, Austin, TX
2. Dee Lincoln, Plano, TX
3. David Doyle, Newport Coast, CA
4. Gary Rieschel, Los Gatos, CA
5. Ronald J. Kuhn, Wheaton, IL
6. Anonymous (bidder requested name not be released)
7. Anonymous (bidder requested name not be released)
8. Chuck McMinn, Los Altos Hills, CA
9. Fred Wedell, San Antonio, TX
10. Luke Evnin, San Francisco, CA