Exclusive Napa Valley Barrel Auction Invites Guests to Sample Rare Wines for a Good Cause

The 2024 Napa Valley Barrel Auction, one of the top charity events in Wine Country, will take place at Hall Wines and benefit youth mental health initiatives.

The 2024 Napa Valley Barrel Auction, organized by Napa Valley Vintners, will take place Friday, May 31, at Hall Wines in St. Helena.

Guests will have the opportunity to be among the first to taste small-production wines straight from the barrel from over 100 local wineries. Vintners and winemakers will share their 2022 and 2023 vintages at the event, while guests bid on these rare wines that have never previously been tasted by the public.

“We’re excited to pour (our) 2022 Hillside Select for the first time, making the barrel auction a great preview for this wine, which will be released in September 2025,” said Elias Fernandez, winemaker at Shafer Vineyards in Napa.

At the 2023 Napa Valley Barrel Auction. (Steven Chester Cooley)
At the 2023 Napa Valley Barrel Auction. This year’s auction takes place May 31 at Hall Wines in St. Helena. (Steven Chester Cooley)

The bidding on the wine begins at noon (online bidding opens 8 a.m. May 28). The Collective Napa Valley Barrel Auction uses a unique and engaging gamified bidding method: Each lot comprises a single half-barrel of wine, divided into 10 identical single-case offerings. The top 10 bids on a lot will secure a 12-bottle case of the barrel, each at varying increments.

To ascend the leaderboard, bidders must outbid the current top price displayed. Throughout the auction, bidders can track the top 10 bids for each lot via the leaderboard, accessible online and displayed during the in-person barrel tasting event.

“The energy of the Barrel Auction as it comes to a close and the final bids are flying fast and furious is amazing. And it’s all for a good cause supporting our local Napa community,” said Blanca Preciado-Luna, Hospitality Director at Progeny Winery in Napa, who will be pouring at the event.

At the 2023 Napa Valley Barrel Auction. This year's auction takes place May 31 at Hall Wines in St. Helena. (Steven Chester Cooley)
At the 2023 Napa Valley Barrel Auction. This year’s auction takes place May 31 at Hall Wines in St. Helena. (Steven Chester Cooley)

Food, wine and art

No Napa Valley event would be complete without excellent food to pair with the wine. Guests at the Napa Valley Barrel Auction will enjoy offerings from a dozen local restaurants showcasing signature dishes.

“We’ve always participated in this seminal philanthropic event. This year, we will share several of our signature dishes — Loveski’s potato latkes, Ciccio’s pizza, and the vegetables from our farm at Charter Oak,” said chef and restaurateur Christopher Kostow.

These tasty dishes and more are available from 1 p.m., when “Toast of the Town” opens. Restaurants and wineries from each of the Napa Valley towns will be joining forces in Hall’s outdoor area where they will offer signature dishes.

Hall Wines is one of the best Napa wineries for first-time visitors.
This year’s auction takes place May 31 at Hall Wines in St. Helena. (Steven Chester Cooley)
Hall Wines is one of the best Napa wineries for first-time visitors.
The Bunny Foo-Foo sculpture at Hall Wines in St. Helena. (Hall Wines)

Hall’s 33-acre property lends itself to this kind of grand event, with an outdoor area that provides plenty of space to roam. Meanwhile, the winery has ample room for the barrel tasting inside the renovated, modern cellar. The winery’s renowned art collection will be on display, with fine art and sculptures from more than 20 artists throughout the winery and its grounds.

“The Barrel Auction is a great opportunity to get together with friends and wine lovers from all over the world who share a passion for the amazing wines produced here in Napa,” said Mike Reynolds, President of Hall Wines.

At 4 p.m., the Barrel Auction bidding closes, and the celebration begins. Guests move outside to enjoy live music, restaurant bites, along with white, rosé, and sparkling wines. The event concludes at 5 p.m.

Supporting youth mental health initiatives

Proceeds from the barrel auction are earmarked for youth mental health initiatives aimed at enhancing access to care within schools, communities, and homes. This funding ensures that adolescents have easier access to mental health services directly on school campuses. Napa Valley Vintners recently gifted $1 million to Mentis, a nonprofit providing affordable bilingual mental health services in Napa, as part of its ongoing efforts.

“In 2022, as we were emerging from the pandemic, we assessed our county’s most critical needs. Youth mental health was one of the concerns that rose to the top. That same year, the White House declared youth mental health a national priority. This school year, nearly a quarter of school-aged children in Napa County, more than 5,000 kids, are in need of behavioral health treatment,” said Teresa Wall, Senior Director of Communications for the Napa Valley Vintners.

Napa Valley Vintners has invested more than $230 million in local nonprofits and strategic initiatives over the last 40 years.

“By investing deeply in the area of youth mental health, our goal is to make a big impact on this critical concern. We have made a minimum of five year’s commitment to the cause,” said Wall.

Tickets to the Napa Valley Barrel Auction are $500 per person. Tickets for the Friday-only event have already sold out. However, a few tickets remain for the full auction weekend package, which includes Friday’s “Napa Valley Barrel Auction” and “Vintner-Hosted Dinner,” Saturday’s “Napa Valley Your Way” winery open houses, and the weekend finale, Auction Napa Valley at Far Niente Winery in Oakville with dinner and a live auction.

Those who cannot attend the event in person can still participate in the barrel and live auction from anywhere in the world through sothebys.com. The listing of barrel lots can be viewed online. Online bidding starts 8 a.m. May 28.

The Napa Valley Barrel Auction is noon to 5 p.m., May 31, 2024, at Hall Wines, 401 St. Helena Highway S., St. Helena. More information and tickets at collectivenapavalley.org