Will Napa Valley Vintners Revolt?
There is a plan afoot to revamp the great Napa Valley Auction.
For those of you who have never attended this glitziest of wine and food gorgings, well..you just haven’t lived. It’s really too easy to ridicule this greatest of conspicuous displays of wealth and grandeur. So, I’ll hold myself back, suffice to say, the kind of money that is thrown around at verticals, horizontals, celebrity dinners and “once in a lifetime” vacations is really awe inspiring.
The fact is, I’ve been. And the fact is, I’ve never been seen so much great wine poured in one place. However, I thought I might die. The actual auction takes place on Saturday. Either by tradition, law, or poor planning, the auction usually lasts a good seven hours. Now, If you can afford to bid on the lots (and your probably can’t) then after about 30 minutes the auction becomes a deadly affair.
The idea is to make more money than before, but cut the auction down to about 2 hours. Both good ideas. However to do this, their is a good chance the entrance to the 4 day extravaganza will triple to more than $7000 per couple. Wow. But to get the auction down to two hours, they are going to have to cut down the number of lots. And this is where the trouble starts.
If you are a vintner, the one thing you really want from the auction is the chance to showcase your wines with a live auction lot that is talked up by the auctioneers then bid on furiously. So with fewer lots on the block, we might just have a vintners revolt on our hands.
Last I heard, the Napa Valley Vintners Association still had to count votes to decide if the auction would be raised to over $7000 per couple and if the lots would be cut back to fold into a mere two hours.
Bottom Line: If this is the direction the auction goes, the event will be filled with just the high rollers and fewer vintners. Who cares? Well lots of people…particularly the numerous charities throughout the Napa Valley that benefit.