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Record-breaking sales at Sonoma County wine auction

The annual Sonoma County Barrel Auction (SoCoBA), a vibrant celebration of the region's wine industry, recently marked its ninth year. Held with the aim of supporting the marketing efforts of Sonoma County Vintners, this year's auction successfully raised $535,000, demonstrating the strong support for local winemaking.

The auction featured 66 unique barrel lots from 76 Sonoma County vintners, each of them showcasing the diversity and quality of wines that this region produces. Attendees, including international visitors from China, Japan, Norway, and South Korea, had the chance to bid on these exclusive wines, reflecting the broad appeal of Sonoma County's offerings.

Now, let's talk about the people who buy these wines. It's not just about buying a bottle of wine; it's about investing in a piece of Sonoma County's winemaking heritage. These buyers are collectors, connoisseurs, and enthusiasts who appreciate the exceptional craftsmanship and unique characteristics of Sonoma County wines. Yes, some of the prices may seem high, but for these buyers, the value goes beyond the price tag.

The highlight of the event was a 2022 Pinot Noir named "The Legend: Joe Rochioli, Jr." This wine is a collaboration between three respected wineries: Williams Selyem, Rochioli Vineyards and Winery, and Gary Farrell Vineyards & Winery. Named in honor of a local wine legend, Joe Rochioli, Jr., who is known for his pioneering work in Sonoma County's viticulture, this wine embodies the spirit of Sonoma County's winemaking. It fetched the highest bid of $51,000.

Other notable sales included "The Pick of the Bunch", a 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon Blend from Silver Oak that sold for $45,000, and "The Duel", a 2022 Pinot Noir from Kosta Browne, that went for $22,000. For white wine lovers, a 2022 Chardonnay named "Chardonnay Legends" from Rombauer Vineyards stood out, with a selling price of $19,000.

In the end, the Sonoma County Barrel Auction is not just about the wines sold; it's a chance to celebrate the local wine industry, to recognize the dedication of the vintners, and to look forward to the continued growth of Sonoma County's winemaking tradition.

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