Be honest – is it your dream to buy a vineyard in the Napa valley and make great wine? If you’ve visited the region, you already know it’s an ideal life. People – especially winemakers and winery owners – are very friendly, and even more important, they go out of their way to support local charities. So if you love Napa and hope to move here one day, you’ll be pleased to learn that the Napa Valley Vintners' (NVV) 29th annual Auction Napa Valley (ANV) held this past weekend raised more than $5.7 million for local health care, youth, and housing non-profit programs.
Of course, raising money for charity is what the auction is all about, yet bidders will find many fun, edifying, and educational events to attend in the three days leading up to the auction. One of my favorite events of the year is attending the auction-related hospitality events in which bidders receive invitations from the wineries of their choice for an intimate “themed” dinner. At this event, guests can meet the winemaker and the owners, and have the opportunity to taste library wines.
We had the good fortune to be invited by Conn Creek winery for a themed dinner on June 5 called “Midsummer Night’s Feast.” The evening began with an elaborate reception in the garden, where guests could taste the 2008 Sauvignon Blanc (only 150 cases made) and sample hors d’oeuvres including foie gras, steak tartare, tuna, and more.
Welcoming guests to Conn Creek was Ted Baseler, President and CEO of Chateau Ste. Michele Wine Estates, the company that has acquired Conn Creek and many other small boutique wineries around the globe. Founded in 1973, Conn Creek established itself as one of Napa Valley's premier Cabernet houses with the release of its 1974 Eisele Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. Named for the winery's location next to Conn Creek near the Rutherford Crossroad, Conn Creek has earned top scores by crafting a focused portfolio of limited production Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons – uniquely sourced from each of Napa's 14 sub-appellations – and other Bordeaux-style red wines including Anthology, blended from the best appellation grapes of each vintage.