On Aug. 27, nearly 600 wine aficionados flocked to Oakville's Renteria 360 Vineyard for the 15th annual Harvest Stomp auction, a night of live music and great food for a worthy cause. This year’s event raised $3.3 million, surpassing last year's total by $600,000. Harvest Stomp supports Napa Valley Grapegrowers (NVG), which seeks to promote and preserve Napa vineyards, and the Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation, founded by NVG in 2011 to provide educational opportunities, English literacy programs and more for farmworkers.
The auction "celebrated the American and migrant farmers, caretakers of the land and all the families building a legacy for Napa Valley agriculture," according to its website. Harvest Stomp and its beneficiaries also advocate for change on issues such as climate resiliency, wildfire protection and sustainable agriculture.
"It was great to be with people who care so deeply about the Napa Valley and its farmworkers. The generosity shown in this 15th anniversary year of Stomp was unmatched," said auction co-chairs John and Michele Truchard, owners of JaM Cellars and FARM Napa Valley Vineyard Management, in a statement.
Guests enjoyed a reception featuring top bottlings from wineries such as Alpha Omega, Cade, Hall Napa Valley, JaM Cellars, Schramsberg, Tres Perlas, Venge Vineyards and Vineyard 29. A Tex-Mex dinner was served at picnic tables under the stars as the bidding began.
The live auction raised over $1.2 million and featured 11 lots, many of which included wine. The top live auction lot, which sold for $425,000, was "Grands Crus, Bon Voyage," an eight-day Bordeaux tour for six led by Opus One winemaker Michael Silacci and featuring a lunch at Château Mouton Rothschild with Philippe Sereys de Rothschild.
Among the other top lots was "Different Paths, Common Purpose," which included 10 cases of one-of-a-kind To Kalon Cabernet Sauvignon created by Andy Beckstoffer and Salvador Renteria, founder of Renteria Vineyard Management, whose son Oscar was an auction co-chair. The crowd gave Salvador a standing ovation as the lot was introduced. For the "Screaming Eagle, Holy Grail" lot, founding winemaker Jean Phillips donated a magnum of Screaming Eagle 1992 in memory of Ron Kuhn, the founder of Pillar Rock. Both lots sold for $100,000.
Caroline Feuchuk, NVG marketing manager, told Wine Spectator that while most lots have retained an experiential aspect, they've become more dynamic overall. “The experiences went from weekend stays to weeklong stays, and from celebrating Napa to celebrating Napa along with experiences in sister wine regions abroad,” she said. "It's always an incredible feeling being in a space surrounded by people raising paddles to protect Napa Valley agricultural land and support farmworker education."
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