Perhaps some silver lining to the isolation of the past couple of years has been a renewed need to connect with friends, old and new, to travel, and to enjoy one another and, well, life in general.
This special sense of renewal and connection is brought home with Collective Napa Valley. Born from the success of Auction Napa Valley and cultivated for a more casual, accessible series of seasonal offerings, Collective is a fundraising model for our times, and for the future.
The breadth and depth of health and youth education programs funded by Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) is monumental: $225 million given and over 117,000 served each year by programs that weave through the fabric of the community. Environmental renewal and restoration are also at the heart of Collective funding, with programs such as the Million Trees Napa project setting a fertile ground for generations to come.
Whether in person or virtually, Collective Napa Valley has ways in which anyone can join in. With events in Napa Valley (with online access) and special offerings from vintners throughout the year, there are myriad ways in which Collective members can participate in the spirit of Napa Valley.
“After the pause between Auction Napa Valley and Collective Napa Valley, we were skeptical about the new format,” note Annette and Sunder Subbaroyan of Davenport, Iowa. “But having attended Collective events, we feel that the Napa Valley Vintners has done a phenomenal job in creating a forward-thinking approach to fundraising, while still bringing in all of the community, connections, great wine and food that are at the heart of Napa Valley hospitality.”
One of these offerings is the Barrel Auction Weekend in June, with more than 100 vintners welcoming guests to taste developing wines in barrel. “We particularly like the Barrel Auction as an incredible way to meet so many winemakers, one on one,” note John and Nancy Hahn, who recently moved to Napa Valley. “This festive day with foods from Napa Valley chefs and lots of local flavor is a deep dive into the nuances of vintage and winemaking styles. We always find hidden gems that are great fun to bid on.”
While the Barrel Auction is high energy, evening dinners are small affairs, showcasing the best of Napa Valley hospitality in private settings. “Sitting in the exquisite natural beauty of Napa Valley is a great way to meet both locals and people from around the world,” say Jonathan and Deborah Goldman of San Francisco. “Warm and welcoming are words we would use to describe these memorable meals.”
With the Vintage Celebration in November and spring events, a year-long calendar of Collective happenings has become a pick-your-season- in Napa Valley phenomenon. “We are inspired by the new format of Collective: shorter involvement of time, more participatory, more accessible for people at different income levels, and for us, with the more intimate settings, more meaningful,” say Terri and Andy DiRaddo of Houston, Texas.
ENJOYING NAPA VALLEY WINES
There’s something ineffable about enjoying Napa Valley’s wines while immersed in the natural beauty of this special spot of earth, enriched by the people who spend their lives crafting these beloved wines.
“It’s awesome when passions intersect. We are tremendous believers that local initiatives are the best ways to build and support communities,” note Robert Goldberg and Pamela Troy of Reno, Nevada. “The Collective gives us a deep dive into Napa Valley’s wines and winemaking craftspeople in a few days, relationships that we can build and expand on from year to year.”
This “deep dive” into Napa Valley wines gives Collective members new appreciation of the kaleidoscope of microclimates, soils, growing season variations and winemaking styles in each bottle of wine.
“We gain such in-depth knowledge of Napa Valley wines by being part of Collective Napa Valley offerings,” note the Goldmans. “There is simply no substitute for enjoying these wines in the company of the people who spend their lives making them.”
Visit collectivenapavalley.org to learn more about becoming part of the Collective community.
Photograph by Alexander Rubin Photography