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    High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction Names 2011 Special Guests

    ATLANTA, February 22, 2011 – The High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction has named its Special Guest of Honor for 2011: Michael Browne of Kosta Browne Winery. Its Special Friend-in-Wine is Joy Sterling of Iron Horse Vineyards. The 19th annual Wine Auction, “The Ultimate Collection: A Sumptuous Blend of Wine, Art, Food and Friends,” is scheduled for March 23–26 and will take place under its trademark big-top tents in Atlantic Station.

    “We are honored to welcome such esteemed special guests to our 19th annual Wine Auction,” said Cate Candler, Wine Auction Manager. “We have the ultimate collection of winemakers, chefs and wine enthusiasts lined up for this year’s auction, including our Special Guest of Honor, Michael Browne of Kosta Browne Winery, and our Special Friend-in-Wine, Joy Sterling of Iron Horse Vineyards. We look forward to great bidding and benefactor support to ensure another successful auction in support of the High’s quality exhibitions and educational programs.”

    Michael Browne of Kosta Browne Winery
    Michael Browne moved to Sonoma County from Washington State in 1987. Browne was in the restaurant industry for 15 years, fueling his passion for wine and food. The majority of this time was spent at John Ash & Co. in Santa Rosa, and the last two years at John Ash & Co. were spent on the floor as a sommelier. While involved in the restaurant industry Browne became interested in the local wines, winemaking and viticulture. The idea of being involved in agriculture as well as the craft of winemaking pushed Michael into the pursuit of producing fine wines himself. In the summer of 1997 Michael partnered with Dan Kosta to make his winemaking dream a reality. With one used barrel and a hand-crank stemmer-crusher, Kosta Browne was born. Along with Chris Costello and Sam Lando, Kosta Browne continues to nurture relationships with the best growers to create some of the best New World wines being poured today. For additional information about the Kosta Browne Winery visit their website at http://www.kostabrowne.com.

    Joy Sterling of Iron Horse Vineyards
    Joy Sterling represents the second generation at Iron Horse and is the current CEO of the winery. She is also an author to multiple publications: “A Cultivated Life,” “Vintage Feasting,” “Vineyard: A Year in the Life of California Wine Country” and “A Vintner’s Guide to Red Wine.” Sterling grew up in Paris, attended a French school and speaks fluent French. She attended Yale University, where she studied history and economics and then began her career in journalism, first for United Press International, followed by local television and network television news. By age 29, Joy was Deputy Bureau Chief for ABC Network News in Los Angeles. Joy left ABC in 1985 to join Iron Horse Vineyards. She brought major acclaim to Iron Horse in November of that year, when she was selected by the White House for the President’s toast to peace at the first summit meeting with Mikhail Gorbachev in Geneva. Joy became CEO of Iron Horse in 2006, having spent 20 years traveling on behalf of the winery, introducing the wines to customers from Spago Beverly Hills to the Four Seasons in New York. Joy joined the Board of Trustees of The Leakey Foundation in 2007. One of her current major initiatives is a fundraising and awareness-raising event held at Iron Horse to celebrate Earth Day 2011 in partnership with National Geographic. She also supports the movement for a Victory Garden to be planted on the South Lawn of the White House. For additional information about Iron Horse visit their website at www.www.ironhorsevineyards.com.

    2011 High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction
    The 2011 Wine Auction, organized by co-chairs Louise Sams and Michelle Sullivan, will include a change in events. Week-of festivities include the Dine Around Dinners on Wednesday, March 23, and the Trade Tasting and in-home Winemaker Dinners on Thursday, March 24. Events on Friday, March 25, include the second annual Vintners’ Cup golf tournament at East Lake Golf Club and the Friday Night Fête under the tents in Atlantic Station. Saturday, March 26, will close out the festivities with the Vintners’ Reception and Live Auction. Teaming up to wield the gavel for the Live Auction are esteemed wine auctioneers Michael Davis and Ben Ferdinand of Hart Davis Hart Wine Co., Chicago. For more information about specific events, visit www.atlanta-wineauction.org.

    The 2011 High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction is made possible through the generous support of the exclusive Grand Cru Sponsor Wells Fargo Private Bank and Wells Fargo Insurance Services. Premier Corporate Sponsors include “Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles” magazine, Geographics, Unisource and Turner Broadcasting Company. The Friday Night Fête Sponsor is Wilmington Trust. Atlantic Station is the Site Sponsor. Delta Air Lines is the Official Airline Sponsor. Bidding Paddle Sponsor is KPMG. Automotive Sponsor is Mercedes-Benz USA. Select Corporate Sponsors include Four Seasons Hotel, Atlanta, Sherlock’s Wine Merchant, The St. Regis Atlanta, The Coca-Cola Company and smartwater.

    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 leading art museum in the southeastern United States. The Wine Auction is the top charity fundraising event in Atlanta, the sixth largest charity wine auction in the United States according to “Wine Spectator” and the number-one charity wine auction benefiting the arts. The funds generated by the auction, which amount to more than $17 million over the last 18 years, are a significant contribution to the Museum’s 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, New York, and also provide funds for dynamic youth education programs that draw thousands of schoolchildren to the High each year.

    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.

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