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Premier Napa Valley wine auction getting a revamp

Napa Valley Vintners have decided to shut down its annual Auction Napa Valley event, the celebrated wine auction held every June that has raised $200 million for local charities over 40 years.

Last year’s event was canceled and the 2021 auction remained uncertain during the coronavirus pandemic. The organization said in a statement it would close the auction in its “current format” and figure out how to go forward with charitable giving activities in the future.

“Pausing our auction due to the pandemic allowed us time to reflect on all we have achieved and gave us the space to envision what our future might look like,” said Robin Baggett, chairman of the trade group’s board.

The vintners’ group said it would provide grants in 2021 to charitable organizations, using reserves set aside in past years.

Sonoma Vintners donates $140,000 to Sonoma County Office of Education

Sonoma County Vintners Foundation has made a $140,000 grant to the Sonoma County Office of Education for its COVID-19 technology support fund.

The grant came through the trade group’s Fund-A-Need effort during the 2020 Sonoma County Wine Auction.

The county education office will spend the money on individual grants to school districts for chromebooks, Wi-Fi hot spots, prepaid data plans for Wi-Fi hot spots, software licenses for devices and subscriptions for web-based platforms.

Napa Valley viticulturist wins top honor

Wine Enthusiast magazine named Miguel Luna of Silverado Farming Co. its viticulturist of the year.

A native of Mexico, Luna started working as a viticultural technician for Silverado, then graduated from UC Davis in 2014 and worked in Bordeaux, France.

Luna, 38, was promoted to a partner of Silverado in 2017. The vineyard management firm oversees more than 600 acres of vineyards across Napa Valley.

The magazine awarded Luna for his “exceptional work” in viticulture, but also for his commitment to transitioning more vineyards to become free of herbicides.

Compiled by Bill Swindell. Submit items to bill.swindell@pressdemocrat.com.

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