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Nice! Napa wine auction raises $5.8 million

on 05/06/11 at 3:26 pm


Bidders at Auction Napa Valley weathered Mother Nature’s shenanigans and raised $5.8 million on Saturday, down from last year’s take of $6.9 million.

A maze of tents at St. Helena’s Meadowood Resort shielded the well-heeled from the rains, the first time in the auction’s 31-year history that organizers had the obstacle of stormy weather.

The crowd of more than 800 bidders adapted with good humor and practicality. Most women opted for boots, albeit designer boots, rather than four-inch stilettos.

Melanni Leary, part-owner of Blackbird Vineyard in the Oak Knoll District, was wearing Hunter rubber boots with a silk dress and beads.

“I hear it’s supposed to rain all day,” she said, “but it’s years like these that bring us all together.”

The highpoint of the afternoon was breaking through the $100 million mark raised for local charity over the auction’s history.

The top lot of day sold for $300,000 and it was duplicated, spiraling to $600,000. It featured a cooking class with celebrity chef Michael Chiarello, seven bottles of Staglin Family Vineyard wine, vineyard tours and dinner for 10.

{Full story via Press Democrat}

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