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Napa breaks auction record

Published:  28 February, 2012

Winemakers in the Napa Valley are hopeful of a better-than-expected 2012 following a record-breaking fundraising auction.

Saturday's annual Premiere Napa Valley wine futures auction raised $3.1 million in just over three hours of bidding on 200 unique wines, beating the 2011 record by 31%.

Pine Ridge Vineyards' chief executive Erle Martin said: "The result of this auction is a true measure of the market. Clearly, even in a still challenged economy, the retailers and restaurateurs have voted. The buyers for these wines would not have put forth this kind of investment if they didn't feel - with real security - that they could sell these wines."

This year 64 successful bidders captured 200 lots representing 1,495 cases of wine. The average case price was $2,069, up 34% over 2011.

The top earning lots came from Dana Estates, Kapcsandy Family Winery, Ovid Napa Valley, Checkerboard Vineyards, Vine Hill Ranch, Joseph Phelps Vineyards, Amuse Bouche Winery, Duckhorn Vineyards, Silver Oak Cellars, Levy and McClellan and Shafer Vineyards.

Napa Valley Vintners, which organises the auction, puts proceeds towards projects to "promote, protect and enhance" the Californian region.