FrontRunners: Grand Event

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During the week beginning July 20, as many as 12 wine lovers will have a chance to sample each of Burgundy’s 33 grand cru varietals as they cruise along the canals of the region, from Mâcon to Dijon, aboard the barge Napoléon. In addition to stops at various towns and vineyards, the Orient-Express Semaine des Grands Crus ( will include wine tutorials and gourmet dinners. The cruise is priced at $6,200 per person. . . . The live auction at this year’s Auction Napa Valley, The American Wine Classic (, to take place on June 7 at Meadowood Napa Valley in St. Helena, Calif., will include four Araujo Estate 6-liter imperials bottled for the occasion and four 2004 Bond vintages in a custom-made strongbox. The auction also will feature a dinner, open to only 95 bidders, prepared by Charlie Trotter, Todd English, and other chefs to celebrate the 95th birthday of vintner Robert Mondavi.

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