Tuesday, May 26, 2009

17th Annual High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction Nets $1.3 Million

More than $1 Million in Auction Sales; Highest Single Auction Bid $50,000; Net Proceeds $1.3 million

In its 17th year, the 2009 High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction reached a live auction total of more than $900,000. Silent auctions on Friday and Saturday and a Paddle Raise during the live auction, coupled with event ticket sales, brought the net profit for the 2009 Wine Auction to $1.3 million. Proceeds from the auction are a vital part of the Museum’s acquisition, exhibition and educational programming funds. The dates for the 18th annual High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction are March 25–27, 2010.

The High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction celebrated its anniversary in 2009 with the theme “The Genius Inside: Wine + Food + Art.” Organized by volunteer co-chairs Crystal Cox and Karen Hughes, the 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 85 vintners from the world’s premier wine regions, including California, Oregon, Washington, France and Australia, as well as the chance to purchase cult wines, rare vintages and large-format bottles. Special Guests of Honor included Louis-Fabrice Latour of Maison Louis Latour; Beth Nickel of Far Niente, Dolce and Nickel & Nickel; Sergio Esposito of Italian Wine Merchants; and Martine Saunier of Martine’s Wines Inc. Teaming up to wield the gavel for Saturday’s live auction were esteemed auctioneers Michael Davis of Hart Davis Hart Wine Co. and Leslie Hindman of Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, both of Chicago, IL.

Special guest chefs for the Gala Dinner included Lead Chef Linton Hopkins of Atlanta’s Restaurant Eugene and Holeman & Finch Public House; Chef Scott Boswell of New Orleans’s Stella! and Stanley; Chef Sean Brock of Charleston’s McCrady’s; Chef Sam Mason of New York’s Tailor; and Coordinating Chef Lincoln Stevens of A Legendary Event.

The 4th 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 $100 and $5,000 each to the fund, with the total reaching $100,000.

The highest auction bids of the day came in for a Kosta Browne Collective Soul Food & Pinot Noir Experience, including dinner for 20 prepared by Chefs Kevin and Kent Rathbun and an acoustic appearance by Collective Soul’s Ed Roland. The lot sold twice, totaling $100,000. Selling for $44,000 was an exclusive Louis Latour and Champagne de Venoge adventure in Paris, Champagne and Burgundy. A special trip to Las Campanas in Santa Fe, New Mexico, sold for $32,000 including golf, wine and private jet transportation.

The 17th annual festivities commenced on Wednesday, March 26, with The Artist Dinner, and continued on Thursday with 15 Winemaker Dinners and a Trade Tasting. Friday featured premiere Tasting Seminars and the Gala Dinner leading up to the grand Vintners’ Reception and the live auction on Saturday, March 28. More than 85 distinguished wineries and 35 of Atlanta’s finest chefs were represented at the Vintners’ Reception to the crowd of 800 food and wine enthusiasts.

The 2009 High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction was made possible through the generous support of the exclusive Presenting Sponsor for the fifth year, Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., and Premier Corporate Sponsors Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles magazine, Geographics and Wachovia Wealth Management. Atlantic Station is the Site Sponsor. Delta Air Lines is the official airline sponsor. Select Corporate Sponsors include Corporate Environments; Wilmington Trust; Callaway Gardens; Sherlock’s Wine Merchant; Four Seasons Hotel, Atlanta; The Atlantic; A Legendary Event; and Tony Brewer & Company. Media partners included The Atlantan, Flavors and Restaurant Forum magazines.

The Wine Auction is the single largest fundraising event held annually for the High Museum of Art. One of the top charity fundraising events in Atlanta and the largest charity wine auction in the U.S. benefiting the arts, it was named number four in a national ranking of the Top 10 charity wine auctions in the United States by Wine Spectator magazine in their March 31, 2009, issue.
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