A record-setting $840,700 was raised , up six percent over the previous year, at the Fourth Annual Sonoma County Barrel Auction at MacMurray Estate Vineyards™. A crowd of over 500 people celebrated and applauded in excitement as each of the 97 never before, never again barrel futures were scooped up by wine trade in attendance as well as proxy bidders calling in from around the country.

In a moving speech to kick off the event, Dan Kosta of AldenAlli thanked this year’s Sonoma County Barrel Auction Icons, groups of individuals from the Sonoma County community who rose to the challenge of the October wildfires, demonstrating exceptional leadership, courage, heroism, sacrifice and selflessness as they aided those in need. They included leaders, emergency responders, communicators, those who provided food and shelter, service providers and members of our local community who reached out and took immediate action in the face of and in response to extreme and difficult circumstances.

Subsequently, the top earning lot of the day and the top selling red wine lot was one of two special 20-case “Sonoma Rising” barrel lots benefitting the Sonoma County Vintners Emergency Relief Fund. Sonoma Rising “Resilience”, an elegant Pinot Noir produced with fruit from Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast and crafted by the talented winemakers from AldenAlli, Arista Winery, Benovia Winery and Williams Selyem, fetched $70,000. Sonoma Rising “Fortitude”, a once-‐in-‐a-‐lifetime 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon from Aperture, Lambert Bridge Winery, Laurel Glen Vineyard and Mauritson Wines, was sold for $29,000. Together, they raised $99,000 to assist those who were affected by the October wildfires.

There were a lot of paddles flying in the air,” said Sonoma County Vintners Interim Executive Director Michael Haney. “Everyone really rose to the occasion today. We are extremely grateful to our vintner members, our corporate partners and the trade for their incredible support of the Sonoma County Barrel Auction. Not only is the trade’s continued investment a testament to our wine quality in Sonoma County, the funds raised here today from these two very special Sonoma Rising lots will continue to support our community. It was extremely important to all of our membership this year to do something in support of wildfire recovery efforts.”

The top lots by case were as follows:

  • Sonoma Rising “Resilience” by AldenAlli, Arista Winery, Benovia Winery and Williams Selyem, 2017 Russian River Valley, Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir: $3,500 per case
  • Pride Mountain Vineyards “Summit Cuvée”, 2016 Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon: $3,400 per case

Benovia Winery, AldenAlli “A Perfect Pair”, 2017 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir: $2,600 per case

Ramey Wine Cellars, “Single Vineyard, Single Clone Syrah”, 2016 Petaluma Gap Syrah: $2,200 per case

The top white wine lots were Flowers Vineyards & Winery “Camp Meeting Ridge Block 3”, 2017 Fort Ross-Seaview Chardonnay and Maritana Vineyards “Goodbye Big River Chardonnay”, 2017 Russian River Valley Chardonnay, each selling for $7,500 or $1,500 per case. Iron Horse Vineyards “A Cuvee for the Ages”, 2014 Green Valley Sparking Wine, sold for $10,000 or $2,000 per case. All the wines featured will be available in the market only by resale to the winning bidder’s customers.

The 2018 Sonoma County Barrel Auction sponsors included these major sponsors: MacMurray Estate Vineyards, American AgCredit, Silicon Valley Bank, G3 Diam Enterprises, Tonnellerie Cadus, Kosta Browne, MacRostie Winery & Vineyards, Martin Ray Vineyards & Winery and Francis Ford Coppola Winery. Supporting Sponsors included: BPM LLP, Carle Mackie Power & Ross, ETS Laboratories, Out the Bottle, Pack n’ Ship Direct, Paragon Label, Tonnellerie Tremeaux, and Sonoma Millworks Design. The auction lunch wine sponsors were Gallo Signature Series, J Vineyards & Winery and MacMurray Estate Vineyards.