Energy and Paddles High at Premiere Napa Valley 2024

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2/24/2024 – Saint Helena, CA – The Napa Valley wine industry welcomed many longtime bidders and newcomers at Saturday’s live auction. As guests arrived, the bond between winemakers, trade partners and colleagues was evident as greetings among friends were plentiful. Premiere Napa Valley is the most significant business event of the year for Napa Valley.  

“We look forward to Premiere Napa Valley every year. Our industry is rooted in relationships, and this week is all about reconnecting with old friends and meeting new ones. It’s a wonderful opportunity to champion the people and wineries of Napa Valley, and we couldn’t imagine not being part of this amazing experience,” said Richard King, Co-Owner/General Manager of Ellerbe Fine Foods.

Sotheby’s engaged with bidders in Napa Valley along with those online in Europe and Asia to kick off the 28th annual Premiere Napa Valley wine auction. From minute one, bidders were ready to go and paddles were raised high and often. From the first lot to the last, the energy in the room matched the excitement felt throughout the week for the region and the wines on offer. 

Those taking part in the auction, in person and virtually, included 197 accounts registered from 29 states and 10 countries. This year’s auction showcased 166 unique wines that were hand-crafted specifically for Premiere Napa Valley. Of special note this year were 12 collaboration lots in which 59 member wineries took part. 

Throughout the week, dozens of tastings took place in Napa Valley, London and Hong Kong in anticipation of the Saturday live auction. Attending the auction in Napa Valley were more than 1,000 trade members who came to bid on wines and conduct business with Napa Valley wineries. In addition to the auction lot previews, wineries also showcased their current release wines alongside library vintages.

“The strength of the Napa Valley wine region is evidenced in the bidding activity and demand for Napa Valley’s prestigious Premiere Napa Valley wines. Sotheby’s is honored to conduct this highly respected wine trade auction,” said Nick Pegna, Sotheby’s Global Head of Wine & Spirits.

The top-selling lots were:

  • Fairest Creature
  • Burgess Cellars, Heitz Cellar, Stony Hill Vineyard
  • Spottswoode Estate Vineyard & Winery, OVID. Napa Valley
  • Silver Oak
  • Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars
  • Alpha Omega
  • Duckhorn Vineyards
  • Robert Mondavi Winery
  • The Mascot
  • Davies Vineyards, Diamond Creek Vineyards, Diamond Mountain Vineyard, Dyer Vineyard,
  • The Vineyardist, Wallis Family Estate
  • Napa Valley’s 16 AVAs, a collaboration of 20 wineries
  • Shafer Vineyards

This year’s bidding began on February 9 and culminated on Saturday, February 24, in person at the Culinary Institute of America, Greystone, and online. Altogether, $3 million was raised with proceeds going directly to programs that promote, protect and enhance the Napa Valley.  

“Premiere Napa Valley was created as a way to build connections in our industry and over the years it’s done just that. We appreciate the effort and time that our trade partners put into coming to Napa Valley and supporting our region,” said Cyril Chappellet, chairman of the board of directors for the Napa Valley Vintners and CEO and chairman of Chappellet Vineyard. “This year the energy was palpable, and we are thankful for everyone who participated.”

To cap off the day, 2024 Premiere Napa Valley chair Meghan Zobeck from Burgess Cellars gathered on stage with the 2025 Premiere chairs, Katie Leonardini, Tom Leonardini and Jason Moulton of Whitehall Lane winery, along with all of the members of the steering committee. Trade members are invited to save the date for next year: Premiere Napa Valley will be February 22, 2025.

White wines from this auction will begin to arrive in market this fall while red wine releases are expected to age in barrel for up to three years before release. A listing of accounts that sell Premiere Napa Valley wines is available at premierenapavalley.com

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About 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. NVV has invested more than $230 million in community healthcare, youth development and the environment in Napa County, and is dedicated to improving diversity and championing inclusivity in its community and in the wine industry. Learn more at napavintners.com.

About Sotheby’s

Sotheby’s Wine’s annual worldwide auction sales of wine and spirits achieved a record total of $159 million in 2023, surpassing the previous record total of $158 million in 2022. Sotheby’s currently holds the world records for any whisky collection ever sold at auction, any private wine collection ever sold at auction, the most valuable bottle of wine ever sold at auction and the most valuable bottle of spirits ever sold at auction, in addition to the highest ever total for a charity wine 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.