March 18, 2011

The 2011 Auction Napa Valley

The 2011 Auction Napa Valley, known as the American Wine Classic, the premier wine and food event in the U.S., takes place June 2-5. Hundreds of wineries will host guests in home and winery settings for dinners, at the rousing Barrel Auction and Marketplace to be held this year at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, and at the centerpiece Live Auction at Meadowood Napa Valley.

Bidders at the event will vie with bidders from across the country and around the world for the nearly 150 lots offered online at the global E-Auction. Here winning bidders can purchase anything from large-format bottles to vertical wine collections, vintner-hosted travel and luxury goods without leaving home. This virtual Auction Napa Valley experience will bring a taste of Napa Valley right to your door while helping raise millions of dollars for outstanding charitable programs that support healthcare, youth development and affordable housing efforts.

All live, barrel and e-auction lots may be previewed at beginning May 2.

The Four Day Passport begins on Thursday, June 2, with casual dinners with winemakers welcoming guests to their homes and wineries to get the party started.

Day two is a full one, with the Barrel Tasting and Marketplace at grand 19th-century stone winery, now the west coast campus of the CIA. There, the valley’s top toques and hundreds of wineries will be on hand as visitors explore the old winery’s cellar to bid on and purchase wine futures, thieved from the barrel by the winemaker who crafted the wine. Later that day are small, intimate fetes, again at winemakers’ homes and wineries.

Day three is the centerpiece of the weekend. Chef Cindy Pawlcyn will offer lunch on the lawn at Meadowood while attendees plan their strategy on how to capture one or more of of the 40 lots offered that include some of the rarest wines in the world at the live auction.

As the sun goes down Chef Michael Chiarello will let out all the stops, Napa-style, as he creates a memorable al fresco dinner.

The final day starts with a sparkling brunch at Meadowood.

Full Four-Day Passports are $2,500 per person and includes admission to all Auction festivities.

Three-Day Packages are $1,000 per person and include a Thursday welcome dinner party, Friday’s Barrel Auction and Marketplace and Sunday’s Farewell Brunch.

A la carte tickets to the Friday Barrel Auction and Marketplace are $350 per person with limited availability — last year these tickets sold out in less than 30 minutes.

Tickets are sold online at Purchasers may set up an account in advance of tickets going on sale to be ready to buy at 8 a.m. on March 31.

Successful bidders from recent Auction years may log into their account to purchase their tickets in advance, as early as Wednesday, March 23 at 8 a.m. PDT.

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