Premiere Napa Valley is an annual barrel tasting and wine auction open only to the wine and beverage trade. Held each February in St. Helena, Calif., the auction is sponsored by Napa Valley Vintners, a professional association of 250 Napa Valley wineries. Proceeds from the auction support the organization’s educational and other programs. The auction is an important event in the wine industry because members make special cuvées for the auction. Winemakers make a barrel or less of their auction cuvées. Premiere Napa Valley wines, which are Cabernet Sauvignons or other red varietals, are not widely available to the public. Restaurateurs and retailers who purchase these cuvées market them as the “best of the best.” As part of our commitment to bringing rare and fine wines to our customers, WineBid.com participates in the Premiere Napa Valley auction and each year purchases a cuvée which we offer exclusively through our auctions.
Carneros AVA, also known as Los Carneros, is at the southern end of the Napa and Sonoma Valleys at the top of the San Francisco Bay. The 8,000 vineyard acres are mostly planted to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, both of which thrive in the district’s cool, marine climate. Carneros became an AVA in 1983 and it has attracted foreign wine companies along with local producers. It has been especially appealing to European producers of sparkling wines including the giant Spanish cava producers Codorniu and Frexinet, and the French Champagne house Taittinger. Codorniu in Carneros is called Artesa, and Frexinet’s Carneros brand is Gloria Ferrer. Taittinger calls its Carneros winery Domaine Carneros. The European producers also make still wines in Carneros.
This red wine is relatively light and can pair with a wide variety of foods. The grape prefers cooler climates and the wine is most often associated with Burgundy, Champagne and the U.S. west coast. Regional differences make it nearly as fickle as it is flexible.