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Behind the Scenes at Napa’s High-End Wine Auction

GQ was embedded at 37th annual Auction Napa Valley

Food and Drink By

RealClearLife has covered the high-end wine auction market in the past—and even toasted the occasional expert.

It’s a burgeoning field: Emirates Airlines even has its own sommelier—with a $500 million budget—so you know that there’s a lot of money exchanging hands in the market.

One of the biggest events not thrown by a Bonhams, Christie’s, or Sotheby’s, takes place annually in California’s premiere wine destination—Auction Napa Valley—and GQ embedded a reporter at the event.

Here are some of the takeaways from their visit:

-The fundraiser attracts about 2,000 people per year, and this year took place at the Meadowood Resort in St. Helena; it’s raised $175 million since its inception in 1981.

Godfather director Francis Ford Coppola and his wife served as honorary chairs.

-Coppola told GQ that the best bottle of wine he’d ever had was a bottle of Romanée-Conti he drank in Reno while “writing a script for Bill Cosby

-Auction lots included a set visit to Amazon’s Mozart in the Jungle, courtesy of Roman Coppola; a one-of-a-kind bag produced by Louis Vuitton and Cannes best director winner Sofia Coppola; a private dinner with three-Michelin-starred chef Christopher Kostow. (The first two sold for $100,000 each.)

-Sofia Coppola described drinking champagne on ice—a favorite of Bill Murray’s, by the way—as “not so chic,” even though she loves to indulge (in France, it’s called a piscine). But she’s high on rosé, something she drank while in Cannes.

Read full story at GQ