Premiere Napa Valley Crushes Record Raising Nearly $6 Million

Much-anticipated 2012 Napa Valley vintage inspires exuberant auction bidding

2/22/2014 - St. Helena, CA--The Napa Valley Vintners' (NVV) 18th annual Premiere Napa Valley today made history by bringing in a total of $5.9 million, nearly doubling the previous record of $3.1 million raised in 2012. The 225 lots crafted exclusively for the trade-only tasting and auction showcased the winemaking innovation and consistently coveted quality of Napa Valley wines. More than 90 percent of the lots were from the 2012 harvest, widely lauded as one of the most anticipated vintages in recent history.

"We are overwhelmed by the response we saw today," said Russ Weis, chair of the NVV Board of Directors and general manager of Silverado Vineyards. "It shows there is a renewed confidence in the fine wine market in general and in Napa Valley wines specifically. We are grateful to the vintners who created such special wines for Premiere Napa Valley and especially for our trade partners from around the world who bid so generously."

The average wholesale price per bottle sold was $283, a reflection of the rarity of Premiere Napa Valley wines, which are made only for this event and sold to a single bidder in lots as few as 60 bottles and never more than 240. This year’s 73 successful bidders, all members of the wine trade such as retailers, restaurateurs, importers and distributors, will make these bespoke wines available to their customers under the Premiere Napa Valley wine label. Always a hot ticket, Premiere Napa Valley 2014 sold out earlier than ever and was attended by 600 top trade and media guests who traveled from eight countries and 28 states.

To the roar of the room, the Scarecrow Wine lot went for an astounding $260,000, more than doubling the previous record of $125,000 for single lot bid. “We are thrilled to bring home this magnificent wine, drawn from the J.J. Cohn vineyard from nearly seventy-year-old vines,” exclaimed Bill Knight of Los Angeles retailer The Wine House. “We were willing to pay what we did for this wine because of the beautiful expression of its lineage and we look forward to sharing it with our customers.”

“We are humbled by the outpouring of support reflected in this epic Premiere Napa Valley,” said Linda Reiff, president and CEO of the Napa Valley Vintners. “It will create many opportunities to help us promote, protect and enhance our beloved Napa Valley appellation and our extraordinary wines.”

The day brought together longtime Napa Valley names as well as vintners releasing their first vintages, and bidders who have attended every Premiere Napa Valley event and those coming for the first time. “As a sommelier wanting to offer one-of-a-kind wines to our customers, I’ve been wanting to come to Premier for ten years,” mentioned first-time bidder Marc Sauter, sommelier and proprietor of Zoes Steak and Seafood Restaurant in Virginia Beach, VA. “We wanted to get in on the ground floor and buy some of the first wines from this amazing 2012 vintage from some of the most renowned producers in Napa Valley.”

Saturday’s barrel tasting and auction was the crescendo of what has been referred to as the definitive week in Napa Valley for wine professionals. The synergy of NVV signature programs, including the tenth anniversary of the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers at Meadowood Napa Valley, which brought together 70 of the world’s leading wine writers, and the new Sommelier Napa Valley program, which immersed a highly select group of 20 sommeliers from around the country into the wines, culture and history of Napa Valley in the days leading up to Premiere, created a dynamic interplay of place, purpose and professional passion.

“The entire Premiere Napa Valley week gives us the chance to play gracious hosts to the people in the wine trade who help make our dedication to our wines possible,” said Hugh Davies, president and CEO of Schramsberg Vineyards and J.Davies Estate and chair of the 2014 Premiere Napa Valley Steering Committee. “It is truly a celebration and recognition of the world-renowned quality of our Napa Valley wines.”

In the days leading up to Premiere, NVV member wineries hosted numerous wine tastings, parties and special events that showcased the camaraderie, collaboration and open-hearted hospitality for which Napa Valley’s vintners are known and which continue to draw trade and media guests back time and again for what many refer to as a homecoming for the wine world.

Top earning lots – Scarecrow Wine; Schrader; Shafer Vineyards; ZD Wines; Robert Mondavi Winery; Cakebread Cellars; Bevan Cellars and Chateau Boswell Winery (joint lot); VHR, Vine Hill Ranch; CONSTANT, David Arthur Vineyards and Reynolds Family Winery (joint lot); Silver Oak Cellars; Joseph Phelps Vineyards; and BRAND Napa Valley.

Top trade accounts to acquire Premiere Napa Valley wines – Total Wine & More of Potomac, MD; Bounty Hunter of Napa, CA; Cliffewood Wine Syndicate of Little Rock, AR; Wine Library of Springfield, NJ; The Wine House of Los Angeles, CA; Gary’s Wine & Marketplace of Madison, NJ; Nakagawa Wine Company of Tokyo, Japan; Beverage Warehouse of Los Angeles, CA; Yakiniku Hiroshi of Honolulu, HI; Meritage Wine Market of Encinitas, CA; Zoes Restaurant of Virginia Beach, VA; and HEB of San Antonio, TX.

Consumers interested in procuring these high-quality, limited production wines for their own cellar can obtain information on the successful bidder for each lot at

View photos of Premiere Napa Valley 2014

Next year’s Premiere Napa Valley will be held on Saturday, February 21, 2015 and will be co-chaired by Michael Scholz and Emma Swain of St. Supéry Estate Vineyards & Winery.

About the Napa Valley Vintners
The Napa Valley Vintners nonprofit trade association has been cultivating excellence for 70 years by inspiring its 500 members to produce consistent quality wines, provide environmental leadership and care for the extraordinary place they call home. Learn more at

Contact: Patsy McGaughy, Communications Director 707.968.4207


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