Forget Dow 13,000, for an indication of which direction the economy may be heading look no further than Napa Valley. After a record $3.1 million in wine was sold at the Premier Napa Valley trade auction this past weekend, it appears the economy may be looking up.
The Premiere Napa Valley trade auction was started in 1997 as a fundraiser for the Napa Valley Vintners Association, a nonprofit trade association. Each year 200 Napa wineries craft small lots of five to twenty cases of wine to be bottled under the “Premiere Napa Valley” brand. The wines are sold at auction to individual restaurateurs and wine retailers looking for the rarest of labels to add their wine lists.
Long considered an indication of the health of the wine industry, the auction is also considered a guide to the overall economy. The idea is that restaurateurs and wine retailers will spend more when they feel good about the economy, believing they can still make a profit on the wine later. Based on the this weekend’s results, an increase of 29 percent over last year, Napa Valley Vintners communications director Terry Hall told the Napa Valley Register the results are a good sign.