This past weekend was one of the biggest events of the year for our valley; Auction Napa Valley. It was a HUGE success this year raising over $16 million dollars for local charities and causes. It was also amazing to experience it for the first time. I only attended the Friday marketplace and barrel auction this year but it was a ton of fun. The marketplace itself, spread over the entire campus of Raymond Winery was a festival of all things wine, food, and the good life complete with a display of the America’s Cup and several fantastic sports cars! (I have a weakness for the latter)
The food was fantastic! Highlights for me included BBQ ribs from Mustards and cupcakes from Kara’s. There were also some incredible baked mozzarella bites from Cindy’s backstreet kitchen. However the real excitement for me was the barrel auction. Our lot from Mondavi was a blend from the 2011 Z block of To Kalon vineyard. These old vines, planted in 1973 made an immediate impression on me when I tasted through the lots for the first time earlier this year. Genevieve and I decided to highlight them at this year’s Auction. I was so proud of our blend and the tension of watching others taste and then bid was incredibly nerve racking and exciting all at the same time.
I’m so excited that so many people felt the same way about it that we did. I was also able to meet quite a lot of new faces including Steve Heimoff from Wine Enthusiast, who has an incredible wine blog if you have not checked it out and Dante Mondavi, who was pouring his family’s wine Continuum, which is delicious. I also was able to catch up with some old friends as well so it was a great day for socializing and tasting some fantastic wines.
Later that evening we enjoyed a lovely 7 course dinner at the winery with quite a few Auction attendees
The menu was superb as always and the wines were incredible. Again, it cemented for me how lucky I am to have found such a wonderful winery home! I can’t wait for next year!