Napa Wine Auction goes global
Erasing yet another bit of the line between the Internet and the real world, officials of one of the world's leading charity wine auctions, Auction Napa Valley, will make major wine lots available for online bidding this spring.
For the first time, it will be possible for wine enthusiasts anywhere in the world to place Auction Napa Valley bids from the comfort of their home or office computers.
Although there's nothing new about online wine auctions - such quality firms as The Chicago Wine Company
, Wine Commune
and others have offered these opportunities for close to a decade - Auction Napa Valley and other high-profile charity auctions have been much more conservative about joining the computer age. Last year for the first time, the Napa event permitted bidding via digital "kiosks" on the festival grounds. Now that system goes global with an online "E-Auction."
"This year, wine lovers everywhere will be able to take part," auction sponsors said in a media statement. Beginning May 17, pre-bids and maximum bids on specific auction lots may be entered by computer from anywhere in the world. The annual Napa auction and festival runs June 1-4, and bidding will close at 2:45 p.m. PDT on June 2. "Auction guests will be able to watch the real-time results of the last rounds of bidding from oversize screens on site," festival sponsors said.
Calling itself "the granddaddy of charity wine auctions," an assertion that might come as a surprise to the Hospices de Beaune, Auction Napa Valley has raised more than $62 million for health care, youth services and low-income housing in the Napa region since it begain in 1981. This year's auction will be at Trinchero Family Estates in St. Helena, with associated events throughout the Valley. The wine-making Cakebread family chairs this year's event, which is sponsored by Napa Valley Vintners, the regional trade association representing more than 270 producers.
The Auction Napa Valley home page
Information about the online E-Auction
Examine the 62 lots of wine and wine-related items
available for online bidding.