Auction Napa Valley’s new Collective Napa Valley unveils its yearlong fundraising model

After putting an end to their live Auction Napa Valley, the Napa Valley Vintners are beginning a new chapter with the rollout of a yearlong fundraising model in 2022.|

After putting an end to their live Auction Napa Valley, the Napa Valley Vintners are beginning a new chapter with the rollout of a yearlong fundraising model, Collective Napa Valley.

“With this model, we can be even more successful in caring for our community,” said Stacey Dolan, vice president of marketing for the Napa Valley Vintners. “We have a lot of enthusiasm behind it. It’s more than just one weekend, one tent, one auction.”

Napa Valley Vintners previously announced they would end the 40-year run of their auction, where some of America’s wealthiest wine lovers bid six- and seven-digit sums to raise millions of dollars for local nonprofits, to transition to a series of more inclusive events that appeal to a range of income levels.

Instead of the auction, there will be an initial three seasonal events next year: a virtual event to introduce the Collective on March 24; an in-person futures auction on June 1-4; and a fall celebration in November, with no specific date set, that will be both virtual and in-person.

Dolan said the goal of the Collective is to reel in a more diverse group of wine drinkers who want to pair their love of wine with philanthropy.

“What’s so beautiful about the Collective is that there’s something for everyone, from people who like a glass of wine on Saturday night to serious collectors,” she said. “I think we’re creating something really innovative and exciting. We’re treating it like a startup, and I think when we’re successful others will follow.”

The pandemic, Dolan said, gave the association the respite it needed to retool its fundraising efforts. It had been a longtime goal to reinvent the auction, she said, after learning that some of the Napa Valley Vintners had become “fatigued” from donating wine lots to an ever-expanding pool of live auctions from vintners’ associations to elementary schools.

“The market of live auctions got a little congested,” Dolan said. “We decided to create a new wave of philanthropy.”

As Collective Napa Valley unfolds, the Napa Valley Vintners are continuing to fund local nonprofits. The trade organization comprising 550 vintners has committed to funneling $15 million to local health care and childhood education nonprofits through 2023.

Auction Napa Valley raised $12 million from its live auction, barrel auction and online auction in 2019, its most recent event.

Asked if Dolan thought the Sonoma County Wine Auction might draw people from Napa now that it no longer offers a live auction, she said no.

“I don’t think we’ll be losing people,” Dolan said. “I just think we’ll be gaining people.”

Peg Melnik

Wine, The Press Democrat

Northern California is cradled in vines; it’s Wine County at its best in America. My job is to help you make the most of this intriguing, agrarian patch of civilization by inviting you to partake in the wine culture – the events, the bottlings and the fun. This is a space to explore wine, what you care about or don’t know about yet.

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