DmitriMaruta/Getty Images

It's the best excuse you've ever had to buy a ton of wine.

Mike Pomranz
January 19, 2018

Though to casual wine fans, France and California might seem like rival regions – and as with any competing business interests, to some extent they are – wine lovers understand that these two areas are also deeply interconnected. Bordeaux especially served as blueprint for California’s viticulture: Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes, the backbone of most Bordeaux blends, are two of California’s four most produced red varieties. (Pinot Noir, the primary red grape of Burgundy, is also on that list, as is Zinfandel, the only one without a French pedigree.) So after the devastation of the Northern California wine country fires, Bordeaux has decided to come to the aid of its wine-producing brethren across the Atlantic the best way it knows how… with wine.

Union de Grands Crus de Bordeaux, a collection of 135 Chateaus from the region’s most prestigious appellations, has teamed up with Sotheby’s auction house to present Bid for Better Online: Bordeaux for Napa & Sonoma. The online auction features 75 lots, one bottle each, all starting at $50 and featuring an impressive selection brought directly from these French wineries, including “large formats, highly-sought-after vintages, and lots from the honorary First Classified Growth members.”

Once the auction is complete, UGCB will be donating 100 percent of the proceeds to charity.

“The strong link that exists between Bordeaux and these California regions has shaped the global wine world and been integral to their mutual growth and survival,” the UGCB stated in announcing the auction, which the group called a showing of solidarity. “Through the funds raised, the UGCB looks forward to contributing to the rebuilding efforts of Napa and Sonoma Counties.”

The auction began on January 16 and will be running until January 30.

To provide you a bit of a live look-in, the bottle with the lowest bid right now is Lot 60: a Chateau Olivier Rouge 2009 double magnum (three liters). It’s currently bid up to $100, and estimated to sell for around $150 to $400. Meanwhile, on the other end of the spectrum, Lot 13, a double magnum of Chateau Cheval Blanc 2009, is already bid up to $4,000. Estimates place it as one of the two priciest selections, expected to sell for as much as $7,000.