Money, Power, Reputation and the Napa Valley Wine Auction
The most startling thing about the Napa Valley Auction, which happens this coming weekend, is the remarkable concentration of wealth it attracts. But this is what is required in order for the event to raise the remarkable sums for local charities. Still, it’s startling.
One of the best ways to witness this conspicuous monetary power is to position yourself somewhere near southern Napa on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of this week and observe the air traffic overhead. You’ll see a fleet of private jets landing at the Napa airport. For aviation buffs, it’s pretty cool.
Of course, the Napa Valley Auction also serves to re-cement the perception of the Valley’s wines as among the top bottlings in the world. The Napa Valley Vintners take this goal fairly seriously, as they should. In today’s world, it is still believed that value, importance, and significance is determined by the amount of money dedicated to or possessed as well as by the number, quality, and significance of the celebrities that lend their names and time to something. Money and celebrity are at the heart of cementing the Napa Valley reputation.
It has been some years since I attended the Auction. I don’t have the disposable income to contribute to the take, I don’t own a winery, nor do I rate quite enough as a communicator to be invited. But I still get to see the planes. And that’s fun.