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    Marci Tate
    Manager of Public Relations
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    Wine Auction Names 2008 Special Guests

    ATLANTA, January 14, 2008 – The High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction today names celebrated Burgundy vintner Alex Gambal and California Central Coast winemaker Joseph Davis as its Special Guests of Honor. Special Guest Chefs for the Gala Dinner include world-renowned southern star chefs Gerry Klaskala and Kathryn King of Atlanta’s Aria with Hugh Acheson of Five & Ten and The National in Athens, Georgia; Mike Lata of FIG in Charleston, South Carolina; and Todd Richards of The Oakroom in Louisville, Kentucky. Members of the Southern Foodways Alliance (SFA), these chefs exemplify the SFA mission to document and celebrate the diverse food cultures of the American South. Austin Hope, winemaker for his family’s Treana Winery and for his own Austin Hope Winery, will serve as Special Guest for The Big Finish. The 16th annual auction, “The Sensational Sixteenth High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction: How Sweet It Is!” is scheduled for March 26 through 29.

    “We expect our sixteenth year to be the sweetest yet,” says Woodie Wisebram, who has managed the Wine Auction since its inception. “We credit strong relationships and good southern hospitality with our success in continuing to draw prominent vintners, chefs and donors to our event. We are particularly pleased to welcome longtime friend and supporter Joe Davis and Burgundy newcomer Alex Gambal—“kissing cousins” related through their artistry with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes. We look forward to another record-breaking auction in support of the High’s exhibitions, educational programs and acquisitions.”

    Born in Washington, D.C., Alex Gambal discovered Burgundy in 1993, along with a passion for its wine, and moved his family to France. Before entering the famous wine school Lycée Viticole in Beaune, he apprenticed under the respected wine broker Becky Wasserman, and in 1997 he created a négociant-éleveur business of his own. Sourcing the very finest grapes and now growing some of its own, Maison Alex Gambal produces Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from small lots with low yield and high concentration in the Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune. Through long-standing grape contracts and good relationships with wine growers, Gambal produces distinct wines from world-class appellations including Chassagne Montrachet, Corton Charlemagne, Puligny Montrachet, Vosne-Romanee and Clos Vougeot.

    Inspired by the great traditions of Burgundian winemaking, Special Guest Joseph Davis makes his Arcadian Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah in California’s Central Coast region. Using French artisan methods and hands-on vineyard management, Davis’s wines consistently receive high marks from noted wine writers, including Stephen Tanzer, Robert Parker and Allen Meadows. Recognized as one of the preeminent producers of California Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Arcadian is served in the finest restaurants throughout the world and as far east as Japan.

    The Auction’s five Special Guest Chefs, led by Gerry Klaskala and Kathryn King of Atlanta’s Aria, will join forces to prepare a grand feast for the Gala Dinner on Friday, March 28. As one of the nation’s most critically acclaimed restaurant chefs, Gerry Klaskala has earned a reputation for award-winning contemporary American cuisine. During his nearly 25 years of cooking, he has received numerous awards and accolades, including the 2001 Robert Mondavi Winery Culinary Award of Excellence, and has shared his expertise with appearances on the “Today” show, “Live with Regis and Kathie Lee” and CNN, among others. Kathryn King puts a famous sweet note at the end of each Aria dining experience with her pastry creations. Aria has been recognized in Bon Appetit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Esquire and The New York Times.

    Hugh Acheson, James Beard Foundation nominee for Best Chef Southeast in 2007, is chef and owner of Five & Ten and The National in Athens, Ga. Acheson’s food matches soul food with Old World–style cuisine and takes many of its influences from traditional French and Italian cookery. Mike Lata’s FIG, short for “Food is Good,” in Charleston, S.C., has garnered accolades from the New York Post and National Geographic Traveler and was named in “Where to eat right now in America” by Gourmet Magazine for creating delicious seasonal food presented in a convivial environment. Todd Richards is Executive Chef of the award-winning Oakroom at the Seelbach Hilton in Louisville, Ky., receiving Gourmet’s Top 50 World Hotel Restaurants, Food and Wine’s America’s 50 Best Hotel Restaurants and Santé magazine’s Best Restaurant in the South awards, among other honors such as appearing on Food Network’s “Iron Chef America” this fall.

    Austin Hope will serve as Special Guest for The Big Finish, a wine-weekend finale for the next generation. Hope is a third-generation California farmer and a first-generation winemaker who began working in his family’s Paso Robles vineyard at the age of 8. He is winemaker for both his family’s Treana Winery and for his own Austin Hope Winery, where he focuses exclusively on Rhône-style wines.

    2008 High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction
    The 2008 Wine Auction, organized by co-chairs Liz Lazarus and Joan Marmo, includes events leading up to auction week such as the Secret Cellars Tour on March 9 and the Mountain of Lights dinner at the new winery at Montaluce—a Tuscan-style retreat north of Atlanta—on March 15. Auction week, March 26–29, begins with Thomas Arvid's Artist Dinner on Wednesday, March 26, followed by a Trade Tasting and 16 Winemaker Dinners on Thursday, March 27. Events on Friday, March 28, include Premier Tasting Seminars and a Gala Dinner Dance, held under festive big-top tents in Atlantic Station, featuring a Champagne Louis Roederer Reception. Saturday, March 29, features the Vintners’ Reception and Live Auction and concludes with The Big Finish event, a wine weekend finale for the Auction’s next generation co-sponsored by the Museum’s volunteer organization Art Partners. Teaming up to wield the gavel for Saturday’s Live Auction are esteemed wine auctioneers Michael Davis and Leah Hammer of Hart Davis Hart Wine Co., Chicago. For more information about specific events, please visit www.atlanta-wineauction.org.

    The 2008 High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction is made possible through the generous support of the exclusive Presenting Sponsor, Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. Premier Corporate Sponsors include Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles magazine, Geographics, Wachovia Wealth Management, KPMG, Montaluce and The Streets of Buckhead/ Ben Carter Properties. Delta Air Lines is the official airline. Media partners include Flavors, Restaurant Forum, and Skirt! magazines. Atlantic Station is the Site Sponsor.

    Maison Alex Gambal
    Maison Alex Gambal makes all of their wines in an artisanal manner in small lots by hand, bottling by gravity without fining or filtering the reds and only lightly fining the whites. Gambal makes approximately 60% white and 40% red, with the objective to produce no more than 60,000 bottles a year in order to maintain a high level of quality, to preserve their mission and to remain humble and respectful of the land. Alex Gambal wines are produced from grapes (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay) grown in the Côte d’Or (Côte de Beaune and Côte de Nuits). For more information about Maison Alex Gambal, please visit www.alexgambal.com.

    Arcadian Winery
    Inspired by the great traditions of Burgundian winemaking, Special Guest Joseph Davis makes his Arcadian Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah in California’s Central Coast region. Using French artisanal methods and hands-on vineyard management, Davis’s wines consistently receive high marks from noted wine writers, including Stephen Tanzer, Robert Parker and Allen Meadows. Recognized as one of the preeminent producers of California Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Arcadian is served in the finest restaurants throughout the world and as far east as Japan. For more information about Arcadian Winery, please visit www.arcadianwinery.com.

    Southern Foodways Alliance
    The Southern Foodways Alliance (SFA) documents and celebrates the diverse food cultures of the American South, staging symposia on food culture, producing documentary films, publishing compendia of writing, and preserving, promoting and chronicling the region’s culinary standard-bearers. The SFA exists under the parent organization of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi and is a member-supported organization of more than 800 people, including chefs, academics, writers and eaters. In the “Atlantic Monthly,” Corby Kummer dubbed the SFA “this country’s most intellectually engaged food society.” For more information about the Southern Foodways Alliance, please visit www.southerfoodways.com.

    The 2008 High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction Special Guest Chefs are members of the Southern Foodways Alliance (SFA). On Friday, March 28, “Cork & Pork,” the Premier Tasting Seminar, will feature other local and visiting SFA members, including Linton Hopkins of Atlanta’s Restaurant Eugene and Allan Benton of Benton’s Smoky Mountain Country Hams in Madisonville, Tenn., as well as winemakers with ties to the South like Mat Garretson of Garretson Wines and Tuck Beckstoffer of 75 Wine Co. John T. Edge, SFA Director, will moderate the seminar.

    High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction
    The 2007 High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction set records as the most successful live auction in its 15-year history, bringing in revenues of more than $1.8 million. Combined with silent auction proceeds, a Paddle Raise in support of youth education at the High and record-breaking support from donors, benefactors and corporate sponsors, total event revenues rose to more than $2.2 million (a 27% increase from 2006). Last year also marked the Wine Auction’s second time in the Atlantic Station neighborhood, the heart of Atlanta’s cosmopolitan west side and the city’s newest location for community events.

    Founded in 1993, the High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction is the largest fundraising event for the High and ranks as the top charity wine auction in the country benefiting the arts, drawing prominent winemakers from the U.S. and around the world. The funds generated by the Wine Auction, which amount to more than $12 million over the last 15 years and $2.2 million in 2007 alone, are a significant contribution to the Museum’s acquisitions, exhibitions and educational programming. For more information about the Wine Auction, please visit www.atlanta-wineauction.org.

    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 11,000 works of art in its permanent collection, the High Museum of Art has an extensive anthology of 19th- and 20th-century American art; significant holdings of European paintings and decorative art; 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 the largest arts center in the Southeast as well as one of the four largest in the nation. The Woodruff is unique in that it combines five visual and performing arts divisions on one campus as one not-for-profit organization. Founded in 1968, the Woodruff Arts Center is home to the Alliance Theatre, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the High Museum of Art, Young Audiences and the 14th Street Playhouse.

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