Sonoma, Napa wine auctions postponed because of coronavirus pandemic

Barrel auction benefit rescheduled for July

The Sonoma County Barrel Auction has been rescheduled for July 17 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The event, sponsored by the Sonoma County Vintners, had been slated for May 1 at MacMurray Estate Vineyards in Healdsburg.

The preview event for the auction will be held July 16 at Chalk Hill Estate Vineyards & Winery.

The event brings in funds for the trade group, which represents 200 area wineries and wine-affiliated businesses. Half goes to the associations that represent the 18 different wine regions in Sonoma County. Last year, $645,000 was raised from retailers who made successful bids on the lots.

Trade group cancels Auction Napa Valley

Auction Napa Valley, the largest wine auction in the region, has been canceled this year as result of the coronavirus.

Napa Valley Vintners, the trade group that sponsors the fundraiser, made the decision Thursday. The auction was slated for June 6, with many preview events scheduled beforehand.

Napa Valley Vintners, which has donated $200 million to health and education initiatives over the past 40 years, pledged make donations at least equal to last year’s giving to maintain services and respond to new needs in the community resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The money will come from a reserve fund established by the trade group.

The Araujo family, which owns the Araujo Estate Wines in Calistoga, will lead next year’s Auction Napa Valley, which will take place from June 3 to 6.

“The most important priority right now is for everyone to care for their families, employees and communities. Meanwhile, the NVV will do everything it can help take care of our community,” said Linda Reiff, president of the trade group, in a statement.

Compiled by Bill Swindell. Submit items to

Bill Swindell

Business, Beer and Wine, The Press Democrat  

In the North Coast, we are surrounded by hundreds of wineries along with some of the best breweries, cidermakers and distillers. These industries produce an abundance of drinks as well as good stories – and those are what I’m interested in writing. I also keep my eye on our growing cannabis industry and other agricultural crops, which have provided the backbone for our food-and-wine culture for generations.

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