Festival Napa Valley’s 2018 summer season took place July 20–29.
It was founded in 2006 to enrich the vitality of the community and making the arts accessible to all. Blending the beauty and bounty of Napa Valley with the very finest performing arts, the festival pairs world-class performances with culinary and wine pursuits staged in iconic wine country settings. More than 200 artists, wineries, resorts, theaters, restaurants and vintners participate each year. Each year, over 6,000 tickets are distributed free to seniors, veterans and families. The festival’s summer arts education programs include the tuition-free Blackburn Music Academy for 80 pre-professional musicians from around the world, free Arts for All Camps for 500 students from the Boys & Girls Club of Napa Valley, and sponsorship of Music Connection’s Summer Strings and Band camps for students.
Long-time supporters are the Copelands of Bouchaine Vineyards (90 PWC Partner). They sponsor The Bouchaine Young Artist Series which presents three admission-free concerts featuring classical stars of tomorrow. We had the pleasure of attending one of concerts by Sophia Bacelar on July 24, at the Performing Arts Center at Napa Valley College.
Sophia Bacelar at Darioush Winery on July 19, 2018
Joshua Bell returned to perform the beautiful score he recorded for the Academy Award-winning 1998 film, The Red Violin, performing at Solage Resort on July 23, 2018.
Lunch was hosted by St. Supéry Winery, CEO Emma Swain and created by estate chef Tod Kawachi, whose fresh farm-to-table fare is inspired by St. Supéry’s earth-first ethos.
Three days of festivities started with private dinners at some of Napa Valley’s most well-known vintners and rising-star wineries. The barrel auction was held at Peter Mondavi Sr.’s family winery, Charles Krug Estate. The Auction included online bidding which started the Sunday before Memorial Day, a Barrel Auction held on June 1st and the capstone event, the Live Auction, held June 2nd at Meadowood Napa Valley.
Napa Valley Vintners noted these highlights from this year's auction:
· A new fundraising record for the Napa Valley Barrel Auction, which had Auction attendees vying with online bidders from anywhere in the world for the 110 lots of Napa Valley wine futures up for sale.
· Samantha Rudd, vintner of Rudd Oakville Estate and daughter of late wine and food icon Leslie Rudd, announced a $1 million contribution from the Rudd Foundation after Lot 2 at the Live Auction.
· The impromptu doubling of Lot 11 featuring four 6-liter Imperials of Opus One and a trip for two couples to attend the Masked Ball at Versailles, France, in 2019 that sold to two successful bidders, raising a total of $1.4 million.
· A $1 million successful bid for Lot 20, donated by the Napa Valley Vintners and Lexus, featuring 18 bottles of Napa Valley wine and an experience at the 2019 U.S. Open Golf Tournament at Pebble Beach.
· A surprise after-dinner performance on Saturday night by Bay Area-favorites Michael Franti & Spearhead.
· Appearances by retired racecar driver turned vintner Danica Patrick, pro golfer Natalie Gulbis and the mother and sister of Golden State Warrior Steph Curry.
The total amount raised since 1981 is more than $180 million. The amounts raised since 2013:
2017: $15.7 million
2016: $14.3 million
2015: $15.8 million
2014: $18.7 million
2013: $16.9 million
Barrel Auction at Charles Krug Estate
There are over 60,000 acres of vineyards and more than 400 wineries in Sonoma County. Within the borders that stretch from the Pacific Coast in the west to the Mayacamas Mountains in the east are 18 American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) each with its own distinctive character.
The Sonoma County Barrel Auction is a live auction of wine futures from the county’s top growers and winemakers. These once-in-a-lifetime wines represent the exceptional stylistic range and world-class quality of Sonoma County.
The fourth annual Sonoma Barrel Auction took place on April 20, 2018 at MacMurray Estate Vineyards. The organizers of the Sonoma County Barrel Auction paid tribute to influential winemakers and the first responders and community leaders who have given so much to this community during last October’s wildfires. In tribute to heroic teamwork, some of the valley's top winemakers collaborated on two special Sonoma Rising barrel lots and raised $99,000.
The combined $99,000 helped the event reach a Sonoma County Barrel Auction record total of $840,700. There were total of 97 Auction Lots for us to taste before the auction. 90 Plus Wine Club is happy to announce that we won two lots and we will be offering these special wines to our members.
Barrel Tasting - 97 wineries from across Sonoma County participated in the auction
Lunch and Live Auction - attendees sat with winery representatives and winemakers from Sonoma County
Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County
Winemaker: Chris Russi
Estimated Bottling Date: July 2018
Estimated shipping date: November 2018
Russi took his time in selecting premium fruit from Comstock’s estate Merlot vineyard and allowed it to develop flavors solely through whole cluster fermentation. He has created a quintessential Dry Creek Merlot that will delight even the most discerning wine drinkers.
Winemaker: Courtney Foley
Estimated bottling date: December 2018
Estimated shipping date: June 2019
Courtney’s Cuvee is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Tannat, Malbec and Petit Verdot made exclusively for the Barrel Auction. It’s a remarkable blend sourced from Foley Sonoma’s estate vineyards in the Alexander Valley. Courtney carefully crafted a wine that exemplifies the ultimate in Sonoma County perfection.
Premiere Napa Valley took place at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone with 187 wine auction lots. Live auction bids took place for three and half hours.
The top 10 lots ranged from $55,000 to $110,000 and raised an estimated $690,000. The total amount raised for the 187 auction lots and the additional 31 online wine lots was $4.1 million.
The top-selling Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon, started the bidding at $44,000 and quickly rose to $55,000, $65,000 and then $75,000. As the bidding went higher, the crowd began cheering. The auction bid reached $90,000 and stalled before crossing the $100,000 level. Cristina Pearce of Total Wine & More from Bethesda, Maryland won the wine lot for $110,000.
The wine, like all the others auctioned off Saturday, remains in the barrel and the Silver Oak will be available in January 2020.
Barrel Tasting: Participants tasting the 2018 Premiere Napa Valley lots while interacting with proprietors and winemakers from more than 200 Napa Valley wineries.
90 Plus Wine Club, 25th Premium Selection Tasting Event at Tokyo American Club.
We had more than 150 members and guests attended our tasting event & fundraiser and we raised ¥1,627,000. 100% of proceeds will be donated to the Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund (www.napavalleycf.org/fire-donation-page).
The wildfires which ignited on October 9th, 2018 and was not officially declared extinguished until 23 days later, killed 44 people and burned more than 200,000 acres in Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino counties. Approximately 9,000 homes and structures were destroyed in the fires. It was the most destructive wildfire in California history. There were 44 wineries reportedly damaged which included our partner wineries: Montgomery Vineyard, Patland Estate Vineyards, Roy Estate, Signorello Estate, VinRoc Wine Caves and White Rock Vineyards. The winery in Santa Rosa, Paradise Ridge, where the first Japanese, Kanaye Nagasawa, built his winery in 1875, was destroyed including his historical exhibition. The total losses from the Northern California wildfires were estimated at $1,045 billion.
Fortunately, most of the vineyards were saved from the fires due to their regular maintenance and the fact that there was some moisture in and around the vineyards. In some cases, the vineyards actually served as a fire break, preventing the spread of the wildfires. Luckily, the 2017 season was warmer and drier than most of the years and about 85% of the grapes had been already harvested. The majority of the remaining grapes were Cabernet Sauvignon which is fortunately the most resistant to the “smoke taint”.
The re-construction from the fire damage will take several years but the first step of cleaning up the debris has begun and we are on our way to recovery.
A passionate committee of leaders, vintners, chefs of Napa and Sonoma organized a dinner and charity auction on December 2, 2017. More than $3.4 million was raised to provide immediate assistance and financial support to the people most affected by the devastating wildfires in California’s North Bay counties...
“A Night of Friendship & Neighbors” was held at the Greystone campus of the Culinary Institute of America. More than $2.3 million was raised during a live auction of prestigious lots held while 340 guests enjoyed a $2,500-a-plate dinner in the building’s old barrel cellars.
One of the driving forces behind the benefit was chef Thomas Keller, who operates two Grand Award–winning restaurants, the French Laundry in Yountville, Calif., and Per Se in New York. He was joined by Kyle Connaughton of SingleThread Farms, Christophe Kostow of the Restaurant at Meadowood (also a Grand Award winner), and Stephen Durfee of the CIA at Greystone, who together presented a four-course dinner. Fourteen wineries, including Caymus and Screaming Eagle, Maya in Napa County and Williams Selyem in Sonoma County, donated bottlings for the dinner.
The 10 lots were collection of world renowned wines, dining and luxury vacations. A dinner for 50 to be prepared by Keller, Kostow and Connaughton sold for $250,000. From France, leading vintners in Burgundy and the Rhône Valley in France donated a lot of large-format bottlings that sold for $200,000.
One of the many vintners in attendance was Naoko Dalla Valle, who offered a lot comprising a dinner in Tokyo with her featuring the wines from her Napa estate. It sold for $180,000, then the lot was doubled, bringing in a total of $360,000. An evening with John Legend at Raymond Vineyard for up to 30 couples at $20,000 a couple.
The fires, which began on Oct. 9 and were not officially declared extinguished until 23 days later, killed 44 people and burned more than 200,000 acres in Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino counties. Approximately 9,000 homes and structures were destroyed in the fires. They rank as the most destructive wildfires in California history.
All proceed was distributed through Tipping Point Emergency Relief Fund to support low-income, communities impacted by this crisis. www.tippingpoint.org/relief
Thomas Keller (center) with community leaders & chefs
11 Napa & 7 Sonoma Restaurant appetizers
Hiro Sone & Lisa Doumani of Terra with Thomas Keller (center)
4 course dinner menu
Regiis Ova White Sturgeon Caviar Passmore Ranch Sturgeon “En Brioche”, Green Apple Puree and Sorrel by Thomas Keller