21 Ultimate Gifts: Vine Club

<< Back to Robb Report, December 2004

    The most coveted vintage might be your own if you acquire this gift from Napa Valley Reserve. The brainchild of Harlan Estate’s Bill Harlan, this invitation-only club in St. Helena, Calif., which opened in May, provides its members with the resources necessary for enjoying the life of the gentleman (or lady) vintner. Participants, all of whom receive lifetime memberships, enjoy the privilege of farming a small plot of prime Napa Valley real estate from the club’s 50 acres planted with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot vines; the services of a staff drawn from Harlan Estate to maintain the fields and provide guidance; and access to a 37,000-square-foot storage cave, a winery, and a hospitality complex. Ongoing classes on grape growing, blending, tasting, and food and wine pairings enhance the experience. Members can even package their wine in the bottle size of their choice and mark it with a custom label.

    Napa Valley Reserve is offering a premium lifetime membership for one Robb Report reader. It includes access to an entire vineyard block, or 1 acre, of land (a typical membership includes privileges to farm an eighth of an acre), and the first five years’ worth of dues are waived. A maximum total of four barrels, or 100 cases, of wine made primarily from grapes grown on the acre is included. (Most other members receive allotments ranging from a half-barrel to three barrels.) This amount of wine would be granted to you every year for five years. In addition, the membership includes 60 nights’ lodging annually (15 nights per season) for five years at the neighboring Meadowood resort, another benefit not normally made available. You also can elect to share your acre and your wine allotment with as many as three people, who would receive nontransferable co-memberships. 

     

    Price: $1,150,000. Contact: Napa Valley Reserve, 707.968.3190, membershipinfo2@thenapavalleyreserve.com. Membership is contingent upon submittal of a formal application and approval by the membership committee and is subject to the rules and regulations of the Napa Valley Reserve, which are contained in its membership plan. The three co-member candidates also must apply and be approved by the committee. Co-members’ dues are covered in the price. The wine cannot be sold, but it may be given away. Members do not own the land, but they receive access privileges to a specific vineyard plot.

     

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