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Family Tradition Highlights Auction Napa Valley 2013

It’s not really a surprise that the Staglin family, which is chairing Auction Napa Valley 2013, turned to Jean Charles Boisset and Raymond Vineyards to host a grand party for some 2,000 guests.

The Staglins, after all, chose “Marvels to Miracles” as their theme for this year’s auction — marvels being all the valley can muster to dazzle visitors whose largesse will be transformed into miracles in the form of the county’s neediest residents.

And if ever there was a vintner who can add a dusting of magic to an event, it is Boisset, scion of a French wine-making family, who has brought a distinctly Gallic flair — and engaging enthusiasm — to the valley since his arrival in 2009.

The Napa Valley Vintners’ 33rd auction starts next week, beginning Thursday evening with small and generally swanky dinners, hosted by vintners for bidders who will be attending Saturday’s live auction at Meadowood.

But it’s the Friday event — this year dubbed the Napa Valley Barrel Auction — that is the largest and liveliest element in the four days of activities. Created in 2005, the gathering is the event for those fast enough to get tickets online can attend without buying the entire, four-day auction package.

This year, the wine auction package tickets sold out in record time — the Vintners have reported that 1,000 people will be at Meadowood to bid in the Saturday’s live auction — but 2,000 will be at Raymond Vineyards on Friday to stroll, sip and sample the fare from 44 local restaurants. They will be able to taste and bid on barrel samples unavailable anywhere else, and to view the opulent live auction lots that will go on the block on Saturday.

“Supporting the community is both a privilege and a responsibility,” said Boisset, who is the head of Boisset Family Estates, which owns wineries in France, California and Canada.

Read more at the Napa Valley Register.

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