High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction Nets $1.6 Million

ATLANTA – In its 18th year, the 2010 High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction reached a Live Auction total of more than $1.2 million. Silent auctions at the March 20 Allure Party and under the tents on Saturday, March 27, coupled with a Paddle Raise during the Live Auction and event ticket sales brought the net profit for the 2010 Wine Auction to $1.6 million. Proceeds from the auction are a vital part of the Museum’s acquisition, exhibition and educational programming funds. The dates for the 19th annual High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction are March 24–26, 2011.

The 2010 Wine Auction celebrated the High’s current automobile exhibition with the theme “The Allure of Wine: Uncork a Journey.” Organized by volunteer co-chairs Michelle Edwards Crosland and Christine Ragland, the Live Auction events were held in Atlantic Station under festive big-top tents.

More than 250 live- and silent-auction lots offered exclusive opportunities to taste, tour and visit with more than 100 vintners from the world’s premier wine regions, including California, Oregon, Washington, France and Italy, as well as the chance to purchase cult wines, rare vintages and large-format bottles. Special Guests of Honor included Alessia Antinori of Antinori Wine Estates, Jean-Guillaume Prats of Château Cos d’Estournel and Amalia Palmaz of Palmaz Vineyards. Teaming up to wield the gavel for the Live Auction were esteemed wine auctioneers Michael Davis and Leah Hammer of Hart Davis Hart Wine Co., Chicago.

The 5th annual Paddle Raise was held in support of youth education at the High, including programs such as the I See Literacy and I See History tours, the Summer Teacher Institute and the Atlanta Public Schools After-School Project. This year’s Paddle Raise, held in memory of longtime auction supporter Taylor Stuckey, allowed bidders to contribute between $250 and $5,000 each to the fund, with the total reaching $79,000.

The highest single auction bid of the day was $50,000 for a one-of-a-kind trip to “Experience Italy the Antinori Way,” including luxury lodging and private tours of the Antinori Estates in Tuscany and Umbria. Selling for $32,000 was a six-year vertical of double magnums of Chateau Cos d’Estournel, 2000–2005. Both lots came from two of this year’s Special Guests of Honor, Alessia Antinori and Jean-Guillaume Prats, respectively. Selling three times to total $54,000 was a “Big Piano” from the auction’s longtime friend Jim Clendenen of Au Bon Climat wines. The lot included an etched 5L, a 3L, six magnums and 12 (750ml) bottles of 2008 Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir “Dick and Marg Denny” Block, Le Bon Climat Vineyard, Santa Maria Valley.

Other highlights included “The Ultimate Artists’ Collaboration for 20,” selling for $38,000, which includes an original charcoal and oil sketch by artist Thomas Arvid, a party with Michael Browne from Kosta Browne wines, an acoustic performance by Ed Roland of Collective Soul, brothers Kevin and Kent Rathbun cooking dinner and six rare magnums and one 5L of Kosta Browne wine; Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland took the auction podium to throw in four tickets to any concert in the U.S. Also selling for $38,000 was a trip for six days and nights in a villa on Lake Como. Sixty-one (750ml) bottles, one each of the entire 1855 Papillon Grand Cru, Classification of the Medoc, 1996 Vintage, sold for $35,000. And the grand finale lot, a dinner for four with High Museum director Michael Shapiro and Museum of Modern Art director Glenn Lowry at The Modern at MoMA―celebrating the High’s new multi-exhibition collaboration with MoMA―went for $35,000.

The 18th annual festivities commenced with The Artist Dinner on Wednesday, March 24, and the Trade Tasting and new in-restaurant Dine Around Dinners on Thursday, March 25. Events on Friday, March 26, included the first annual Vintners’ Cup golf tournament at East Lake Golf Club, Premier Tasting Seminars and the ever-popular in-home Winemaker Dinners. Saturday, March 27, featured the Vintners’ Reception and Live Auction. More than 100 distinguished wineries and 35 of Atlanta’s finest chefs were represented at the Vintners’ Reception to the crowd of more than 900 food and wine enthusiasts.

The 2010 High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction was made possible through the generous support of the exclusive Presenting Sponsor, Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. Premier Corporate Sponsors included Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles magazine, Geographics, KPMG and Wells Fargo Private Bank. The Allure Party Sponsors were Wilmington Trust, Jim Ellis Porsche and Hennessy Porsche North Atlanta. Atlantic Station was the Site Sponsor. Delta Air Lines was the Official Airline Sponsor. Select Corporate Sponsors included The Coca-Cola Company, smartwater, Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta, Sherlock’s Wine Merchant, Terra Terroir and The Wine Room at The St. Regis Atlanta. Media partners include The Atlantan and Restaurant Forum magazines.

High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction
Founded in 1993, the High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction is the largest fundraising event for the High Museum of Art. The Wine Auction is the top charity fundraising event in Atlanta, ranked the sixth largest charity wine auction in the United States by Wine Spectator in their April 30, 2010, issue, and the number-one charity wine auction benefiting the arts. The funds generated by the Wine Auction, which amount to more than $16 million over the last 18 years, are a significant contribution to the Museum’s acquisitions, exhibitions and educational programming. Proceeds help to make possible special exhibitions and partnerships such as the upcoming multi-year, multi-exhibition partnership between the High and The Museum of Modern Art, and it also provides funds for dynamic youth education programs that draw thousands of schoolchildren to the High each year. For more information about the Wine Auction, please visit www.atlanta-wineauction.org.

The High Museum of Art
The High Museum of Art, founded in 1905 as the Atlanta Art Association, is the leading art museum in the southeastern United States. With more than 12,000 works of art in its permanent collection, the High Museum of Art has an extensive anthology of 19th- and 20th-century American and decorative art; significant holdings of European paintings; a growing collection of African American art; and burgeoning collections of modern and contemporary art, photography and African art. The High is also dedicated to supporting and collecting works by Southern artists and is distinguished as the only major museum in North America to have a curatorial department specifically devoted to the field of folk and self-taught art. The High’s media arts department produces acclaimed annual film series and festivals of foreign, independent and classic cinema. In November 2005, the High opened three new buildings by architect Renzo Piano that more than doubled the Museum’s size, creating a vibrant “village for the arts” at the Woodruff Arts Center in midtown Atlanta. For more information about the High, please visit www.high.org.

The Woodruff Arts Center
The Woodruff Arts Center is ranked among the top four arts centers in the nation. The Woodruff is unique in that it combines four visual and performing arts divisions on one campus as one not-for-profit organization. Opened in 1968, the Woodruff Arts Center is home to the Alliance Theatre, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the High Museum of Art and Young Audiences. To learn more about the Woodruff Arts Center, please visit www.woodruffcenter.org.