This year marked the fourth time I’ve photographed the festivities surrounding the premiere wine auction in the world. Auction Napa Valley hosted by the Napa Valley Vintners is a celebration of all things wine, success, and philanthropy. Hundreds of wineries put together collections of their wines many of which included trips, exclusive meet-and-greets, and even cars. The biggest ones were auctioned off on Saturday at Meadowood Resort along with lunch and dinner.
And the wine. Expensive and rare wines were being poured like sodas at Taco Bell. I saw bottles of Opus One, Shafer, Memento Mori, and Silver Oak just sitting there waiting to be consumed. Guests could have whatever they wanted for as long as they wanted it.
But the real reason for the auction is to raise money for charities throughout Napa County. Without the annual auction, many charities couldn’t survive. The money raised goes towards education and health initiatives benefitting those who couldn’t normally afford such basic needs. This year’s Auction Napa Valley generated almost $16 million. I am sincerely proud to have a small part of this event.
My job started a few months back when I was contracted to photograph the charities that benefitted from the proceeds of the auction. A lot of the photos in the auction catalog were mine as well as shown on the video screens during the auction program. The Grapecrusher Statue image that was used all over the valley on billboards and lampposts was one of mine. And then, of course, I was there to capture the auction and the parties that led up to it.