Press RoomPress ReleasesNation’s Top Charity Wine Auction Benefiting the Arts Kicks Off 24th Year

Nation’s Top Charity Wine Auction Benefiting the Arts Kicks Off 24th Year

December 8, 2015

High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction set for March 30–April 2, 2016

ATLANTA, Dec. 8, 2015 – Atlantans and wine enthusiasts everywhere are invited to experience the High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction, March 30–April 2, 2016, with the theme “A Crush on Wine.” Celebrating its 24th year, the Auction is the largest charity wine auction in the United States benefiting the arts, the 10th largest overall, and the largest fundraising event for the High Museum of Art.

Funds generated by the Auction, which have amounted to more than $23 million over the last 23 years, contribute significantly to the High’s exhibitions and educational programming. This year marked the Auction’s 10th anniversary of the Paddle Raise, which has contributed nearly $1.2 million to Art Access school programs at the High. Since 2006, the Paddle Raise has supported nearly 95,000 students and their visits to the museum’s permanent collection and special exhibitions.

The 2016 Auction is co-chaired by Leigh Walsh, an Atlanta-based community philanthropist, and Dina Woodruff, the 2001 Wine Auction co-chair and owner of Peridot Buckhead and Peridot West.

The Special Guest of Honor is Chuck Wagner, winemaker and owner of Caymus Vineyards in Napa Valley, Calif. After joining the family winemaking business in 1972, Wagner established Caymus Vineyards, which epitomizes the region’s singular style and reputation for Cabernet Sauvignon. In 2007, Wagner was awarded the “Distinguished Service Award” by Wine Spectator magazine for his significant and long-lasting contributions to the wine industry. In recent years, Wagner’s children have joined the business, now the Wagner Family of Wine, which includes Mer Soleil, Conundrum, Belle Glos and Emmolo in addition to Caymus.

The 2016 Auction’s Special Guest Chef is Sean Brock of McCrady’s, Husk Charleston, Husk Nashville, Minero Charleston and Minero Atlanta. Brock won the James Beard Award for “Best Chef Southeast” in 2010 and was a finalist for “Outstanding Chef” in 2013, 2014 and 2015. He hosted season two of Anthony Bourdain’s “The Mind of a Chef” on PBS, for which he received an Emmy nomination. His first cookbook, “Heritage” (Artisan Books), was released in October 2014 and is a New York Times bestseller and recipient of the 2015 James Beard Foundation Book Award for American Cooking. 

Wine Auction Week officially begins March 30 and continues through April 2. The 2016 weekend events will take place in tents in the Green Lot at Turner Field. The festivities include:

  • Dine Around Dinners – Week of March 30: Featuring some of the world’s best winemakers partnered with Atlanta’s top chefs in their restaurants to develop a one-of-a-kind, way-off-the-menu, multi-course meal and wine pairing.
  • Tasting Seminars – Week of March 30: Hosted at local venues, covering topics hand picked by winemakers and sommeliers, and featuring some of the world’s highest-rated and most unusual wines.
  • Toque & Cork Dinners – March 31: Featuring some of Atlanta’s most renowned chefs paired with guest chefs from around the country alongside visiting winemakers. These incredible dinners take place in some of the most beautiful homes in Atlanta.
  • Friday Fête and After Party – April 1: Inside the tents at Turner Field, guests may mix and mingle with winemakers, place bids in the impressive Silent Auction and enjoy a meal prepared by Special Guest Chef Sean Brock. After dinner, the band kicks in, and the shoes come off. Attire is cocktail casual­­—a jacket is requested, but no tie is required.

The week concludes on April 2 with the main event in the tents at Turner Field—the Vintners’ Reception and Live Auction—featuring wine tastings from many of the world’s top wineries, samples from dozens of Atlanta’s best restaurants, and the opportunity to bid on the best in wine, travel and food experiences.

For more information about specific Wine Auction events, visit

The Wine Auction is pleased to announce the following corporate sponsors: Presenting Sponsor Delta Air Lines, Grand Cru Sponsor Wells Fargo Private Bank, Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles, BB&T Corporation, BNY Mellon Wealth Management, Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta, Geographics Inc., JLL, Legendary Events, MaxMedia, Sherlock’s Wine Merchant, St. Regis Atlanta, Tony Brewer and Co., Vine Vault, and Whobody Inc.

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, the 10th largest charity wine auction in the United States according to Wine Spectator, and the No. 1 charity wine auction benefiting the arts. The funds generated by the Auction, which have amounted to more than $23 million over the last 23 years, are a significant contribution to the Museum’s exhibitions and educational programming. Proceeds help to make possible special exhibitions and partnerships, and the Auction also provides funds for dynamic youth education programs, which draw more than 65,000 schoolchildren to the High each year. For more information, visit

High Museum of Art
The High is the leading art museum in the southeastern United States. With more than 15,000 works of art in its permanent collection, the High Museum of Art has an extensive anthology of 19th- and 20th-century American art; a significant collection of historic and contemporary decorative arts and design; significant holdings of European paintings; a growing collection of African American art; and burgeoning collections of modern and contemporary art, photography, folk and self-taught art, and African art. The High is also dedicated to supporting and collecting works by Southern artists. For more information about the High, visit

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Media contacts:

Marci Tate
Manager of Public Relations

Anne Randolph Powell
Public Relations Specialist