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Sonoma, Napa wine auctions postponed because of coronavirus pandemic

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Two of the biggest fundraisers in Wine Country — Auction Napa Valley and the Sonoma County Barrel Auction — have been postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Sonoma County Barrel Auction has been rescheduled for July 17. 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.

Auction Napa Valley, the largest wine auction in the region, has been canceled this year as result of the coronavirus. The auction had been slated for June 6, with many preview events scheduled beforehand.

Napa Valley Vintners, which sponsors the fundraiser and 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.

Staff Writer Bill Swindell can be reached at bill.swindell@pressdemocrat.com or 707-521-5223. On Twitter @BillSwindell.

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