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Sonoma County Barrel Auction harvests record $794K for wine marketing

Sonoma County Vintners’ third annual Sonoma County Barrel Auction on April 21 raised a record-setting $794,500 after 90 one-of-a-kind wine lots.

Over 250 members of the wine trade and media attended the live auction at Santa Rosa's Vintners Inn. This year's totals were up more than $100,000 from 2016.

The auction's "never before, never again" wine lots were crafted by top vintners from Sonoma County's 17 distinct AVA appellations, and offered in quantities of five, 10 or 20 cases. All of the wines featured were made exclusively for the auction, and will be available in the market only by resale to the winning bidder's customers.

Kosta Browne had the top-earning lot with "The Shire of Freestone," a 20-case Sonoma Coast pinot noir lot that set a new record at $60,000.

The second-highest-selling lot was the 20-case Silver Oak Cellars 2015 Alexander Valley cabernet sauvignon at $50,000. The third top lot was Williams Selyem Winery's 20-case pinot noir, blended from three estate vineyards, which sold for $26,000. Ramey Wine Cellars' 10-case "Ramey's Heart of the Russian River Valley" chardonnay was the top white wine at $12,500.

The top five lots by case were:

– Lot 64: Pride Mountain Vineyards "25th Anniversary Summit Cuvée," $4,000 per case

– Lot 77: Kosta Browne, "The Shire of Freestone," $3,000 per case

– Lot 90: Silver Oak Cellars, Silver Oak 2015 cabernet sauvignon, $2,500 per case

– Lot 58: Mauritson Family Winery, "Sonoma's Own Everest, $2,500 per case

– Lot 42: Laurel Glen Vineyard, "Randall's Favorite Barrel of 2015," $2,000 per case

All money raised supports the marketing initiatives of Sonoma County Vintners and its local American Viticultural Area (appellation) partners.

The next Sonoma County Barrel Auction will be held April 20, 2018. Future barrel auctions will be held on the third Friday of April. Attendees are licensed wine sellers, including retailers, restaurateurs and wholesalers.

Sponsors of the barrel auction this year included American AgCredit (Lunch and Auction Paddle), Silicon Valley Bank (Icons Library Tasting), G3 Enterprises (Closures), Tonnellerie Cadus (Sonoma County Icons Video and Lot Signs), Benovia Winery (Founders' Circle Dinner Host), Martin Ray Vineyards & Winery (Icons Event Host). Supporting Sponsors included: Burr Pilger Mayer, Carle Mackie Power & Ross, Eckhoff and Company, ETS Laboratories, Kaiser Air, Leap Solutions, Pack n' Ship Direct, Paragon Label, Tonnellerie Tremeaux, and Vintners Inn. The auction lunch wine sponsors were Francis Ford Coppola Winery, J Vineyards & Winery and Ramey Wine Cellars.

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