Napa Valley Vintners today announces the appointment of Sotheby’s as their new auction partner, marking the first time that Sotheby’s has partnered with a wine region to help connect wine consumers, collectors and connoisseurs to its wines.
During the three-year partnership, Sotheby’s will conduct in-person and online auctions for the Napa Valley Vintners. Major endeavours in 2022 will include the Napa Valley Library Wine Auction on January 18-29, 2022; Premiere Napa Valley on February 23-26, 2022; and Collective Napa Valley with several offerings throughout the year in 2022.
Jamie Ritchie, Worldwide Head of Sotheby’s Wine, said: “Our international wine team are incredibly excited to present and promote the exceptional and unique wines from the Napa Valley Vintners to our global clients and look forward to working together throughout the year to create new relationships between these inspired family vintners and our global collector base, and new consumers for the wines from Napa.
The three-year term gives us a long horizon to be innovative in how we jointly develop the market. At Sotheby’s, we have seen increasing demand for the wines of Napa over the past ten years, illustrated by the rise in the number of wines sold and the growth in overall sales by value.”
Linda Reiff, President & CEO of Napa Valley Vintners, said: “We’re thrilled to partner with Sotheby’s world-class wine team to strengthen Napa Valley’s growing presence in the global marketplace. We look forward to introducing Sotheby’s clientele to even more of Napa Valley’s fine wine producers through this first-of-its-kind partnership. The alignment of our two entities is a perfect fit, and we’re excited to launch this incredible partnership with our first endeavour this January.”
In addition to hosting auctions, Sotheby’s will create additional opportunities for wine collectors to discover more of Napa Valley’s celebrated wines. This will be done through interaction with the region’s renowned winemakers, many of whom hail from small, family-owned wineries that make up the majority of Napa Valley’s vintner community. In total, 95% of the wineries are family-owned, and production is limited, with 65% of Napa Valley’s wineries making less than 5,000 cases a year.
Napa Valley is America’s foremost wine region and a leader in the global wine industry. International interest in Napa Valley wines has strengthened year on year, and though only 4% of California’s grape harvest comes from Napa Valley, the region accounts for 30% of the value of all California wine.
The number of Napa Valley wines currently sold at auction represents an ever-growing proportion of the celebrated brands from Napa Valley’s wine-growing region. At Sotheby’s, global demand for the wines of the Napa Valley has been significantly increasing by every measurement.
The range (number) of different wines offered has increased by more than 250% since 2010 and by more than 65% in the last full year. By value, the sales have increased more than 500% since 2010 and by 25% in the last full year, with the majority of buyers from North America and Asia.
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Main image at the start of this article by Bob McClenahan.