Home Industry News Releases Sotheby’s and Napa Valley Vintners Announce First-of-Its-Kind Partnership

Sotheby’s and Napa Valley Vintners Announce First-of-Its-Kind Partnership

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Three-Year Partnership to Help Create More Access to Napa Valley’s Rare and Age-worthy Wines with Consumers, Collectors and Connoisseurs Around the Globe

 Opening with the Napa Valley Library Wine Auction in January 2022

NEW YORK & NAPA VALLEY, 30 NOVEMBER 2021 – Napa Valley Vintners today announces the appointment of Sotheby’s as their new auction partner, marking the first time that Sotheby’s has partnered with a wine region to help connect wine consumers, collectors and connoisseurs to its wines.

Napa Valley © 2014 Bob McClenahan

During the three-year partnership, Sotheby’s will conduct in-person and online auctions for the Napa Valley Vintners. Major endeavors in 2022 will include the Napa Valley Library Wine Auction taking place January 18-29, 2022; Premiere Napa Valley February 23-26, 2022; and Collective Napa Valley with several offerings throughout the year in 2022.

Jamie Ritchie, Worldwide Head of Sotheby’s Wine, said: “Our international wine team are incredibly excited to present and promote the exceptional and unique wines from the Napa Valley Vintners to our global clients and look forward to working together throughout the year to create new relationships between these inspired family vintners and our global collector base, and new consumers for the wines from Napa. The three-year term gives us a long horizon to be innovative in how we jointly develop the market. At Sotheby’s, we have seen increasing demand for the wines of Napa over the past ten years, illustrated by the rise in number of wines sold and the growth in overall sales by value.”

Linda Reiff, President & CEO of Napa Valley Vintners, said: “We’re thrilled to partner with Sotheby’s world-class wine team to strengthen Napa Valley’s growing presence in the global marketplace. We look forward to introducing Sotheby’s clientele to even more of Napa Valley’s fine wine producers through this first-of-its-kind partnership. The alignment of our two entities is a perfect fit, and we’re excited to launch this incredible partnership with our first endeavor this January.”

In addition to hosting auctions, Sotheby’s will create additional opportunities for wine collectors to discover more of Napa Valley’s celebrated wines through interaction with the region’s renowned winemakers, many of whom hail from small, family-owned wineries that make up the majority of Napa Valley’s vintner community. In total, 95% of the wineries are family owned, and production is limited, with 65% of Napa Valley’s wineries making less than 5,000 cases a year.

Napa Valley is America’s foremost wine region and a leader in the global wine industry. International interest in Napa Valley wines has strengthened year on year, and though only 4% of California’s grape harvest comes from Napa Valley, the region accounts for 30% of the value of all California wine.

The number of Napa Valley wines currently sold at auction represents an ever-growing proportion of the celebrated brands from Napa Valley’s winegrowing region. At Sotheby’s, global demand for the wines of the Napa Valley has been significantly increasing by every measurement. The range (number) of different wines offered has increased by more than 250% since 2010 and by more than 65% in the last full year. By value, the sales have increased more than 500% since 2010 and by 25% in the last full year, with the majority of buyers from North America and Asia.

About the Napa Valley Vintners  

The Napa Valley Vintners nonprofit trade association has been cultivating excellence since 1944 by inspiring its nearly 550 members to consistently produce wines of the highest quality, provide environmental leadership and care for the extraordinary place they call home. Since 1981, the NVV has invested more than $200 million in its community to provide equitable access to healthcare and opportunity for advancement in children’s education. NVV is dedicated to improving diversity and championing inclusivity in its community and in the wine industry. Learn more at napavintners.com

About Sotheby’s Wine

Established in 1744, Sotheby’s is the world’s premier destination for art and luxury. Sotheby’s promotes access, connoisseurship and preservation of fine art and rare objects through auctions and buy-now channels including private sales, e-commerce and retail. Our trusted global marketplace is supported by an industry-leading technology platform and a network of specialists spanning 40 countries and 50 categories, which include Contemporary Art, Modern and Impressionist Art, Old Masters, Chinese Works of Art, Jewelry, Watches, Wine and Spirits, and Interiors, among many others.

Sotheby’s Wine’s annual worldwide auction sales of wine and spirits totaled an outstanding $92 million in 2020, with over 15,000 lots sold across 41 sales – a nearly 50% increase in the number of auctions held in 2019. Over $60 million of wine and spirits were sold to online bidders in 2020 versus $28 million in 2019, with 85% of all lots offered finding online buyers. Demonstrating continued strength in Asia, Sotheby’s led the market in the region for the third consecutive year, with over 70% of the total bid amount in all Wine and Spirits sales attributed to collectors in Asia.

Sotheby’s Wine’s has had the privilege of auctioning numerous record-breaking wines and spirits in recent years, with 2020 alone witnessing new world auction records for any bottle of Japanese whisky, any bottle of whisky produced by the Dalmore Distillery, as well as any bottle of Cognac. Sotheby’s Wine currently holds the world records for any whisky collection ever sold at auction, any private wine collection ever sold at auction, the most expensive bottle of wine ever sold at auction and the most expensive bottle of spirits ever sold at auction.

In addition to auction, Sotheby’s Wine launched a retail business in 2010. With a retail store located in Sotheby’s New York headquarters and e-commerce at www.sothebyswine.com, Sotheby’s Wine offers a carefully curated selection of wines from the world’s most prestigious producers and important regions. Expertly assembled by our experienced specialists, the selection is built upon lasting relationships with winemakers from across the globe, with bottles that are ready for immediate consumption, in addition to investment-worthy wines from highly sought-after vintages. A second retail location opened in Sotheby’s Hong Kong galleries in 2014.

* Estimates do not include buyer’s premium or overhead premium. Prices achieved include the hammer price plus buyer’s premium and overhead premium and are net of any fees paid to the purchaser where the purchaser provided an irrevocable bid.

Stream live auctions and place bids in real time, discover the value of a work of art, browse sale catalogues, view original content and more at sothebys.com, and by downloading Sotheby’s app for iOS and Android.

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