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Sotheby's Wine - The Interview

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Wednesday, February 01, 2012


ANN COLGIN

Ann Barry Colgin is the owner of Colgin Cellars, which she founded in 1992. She is married to Joe Wender and together they also have an ownership interest in Camille Giroud in Burgundy. In addition to being a celebrated Napa Valley vintner, Ann is a serious art collector, a very talented auctioneer and noted philanthropist.

CHILDHOOD, ADOLESCENCE & EARLY PROFESSIONAL LIFE:

Where were you born?

Waco, Texas - now you know why the term "cult wine" isn't my favorite.

What was your best memory growing up?

Hearing my parents having a wonderful time at dinner parties they would host. There was always lots of laughter.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Chairman of Neiman Marcus.

Where/What did you study?

Vanderbilt University B.A. Art History, NYU M.A. Arts Administration, Sotheby's Decorative Arts Course London

Any formal wine training?

Courses at UC Davis & UCLA. But mainly, I have been fortunate to be a member of many tasting groups over the years. Our wines at Colgin are influenced by our love of Bordeaux and we always strive for elegance and complexity in each blend.

Who was your mentor?

I went to a great girls' high school in Dallas called Hockaday. My Art History professor, Dr. Ed Long who still teaches there inspired me to study with Sotheby's in London when I graduated from Vanderbilt. The auction world led me to wine. I was also influenced in those early years by Stanley Marcus of Neiman Marcus, a prominent figure in Dallas at the time. He was a master at showmanship and salesmanship and very philanthropic. David Abreau has been an important influence in Napa for me. Great wine begins with great grapes and I feel fortunate to have him as our vineyard manager on all of our sites.

LIKES & DISLIKES:

What instantly brings a smile to your face?

My husband, Joe Wender and my two dogs, Corton Charlemagne and Gevrey Chambertin.

What instantly makes you frown?

The last sip of a great bottle of wine.

Outside wine, what is your passion?

Art is one of my greatest passions. I am currently the Chairman of the Collectors Committee Weekend at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

What was the last music you downloaded?

Coldplay.

What is the last movie you saw?

The Artist.

What's your guilty secret?

Ribs and Colgin Syrah.

What "addiction" would you most like to give up?

Buying shoes but I actually don't want to give that up.

What are you craving right now?

Dark chocolate gelato from Grom.

Are you superstitious?

Very. I insist that every glass must touch during a toast. If it is a large group, I make everyone send the toast around the table like a wave.

EVERY DAY:

Who was the first person you spoke to today?

My husband.

Early to rise, late to bed; burn the candle at both ends?

Usually early to bed and early to rise for exercise but I love to stay up really late once in a while.

Exercise or sport?

Exercise and lots of it.

Diet or eat everything?

Life is too short to diet.

What are you reading now?

Jacqueline Kennedy Historic Conversations on Life with JFK.

FAMILY:

Wife/Husband/Lover?

Husband.

Children?

Two fabulous step daughters and they each have newborn baby boys.

FAVORITES:

Favorite place to vacation?

Paris.

Favorite local hotel?

Hotel Bel Air where I have enjoyed many memorable meals on the patio. I love that Wolfgang Puck and his talented team have taken over the restaurant.

Favorite hotel in the world?

Hotel George V. There is a luxurious feeling from the moment you walk in the door and see the glorious gravity defying flowers. The hotel's wine cellar is historical and a place where I have fond memories of sipping champagne with the sommelier. And Restaurant Le Cinq on property is fantastic.

Favorite local restaurant?

The French Laundry

Favorite restaurant in the world?

Apicius in Paris.

Favorite city to visit?

Paris.

Favorite wine/vintage from your winery?

It depends on the day, but the 2002 vintage of Tychson Hill probably tops them all. It was our first 100 point wine and it is from the first vineyard I planted on my own property.

Favorite wine/vintage, that is not yours?

1947 Vieux Chateau Certan, 1945 Romanee Conti.

Favorite shop to buy clothes?

Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills and L'Eclaireur in Paris.

Favorite shoes?

YSL.

LAST SUPPER:

If you can choose your perfect last supper before leaving this world, what would it be, who would it be with and what would you drink with it?

It would have to be a progressive dinner party in various cities with my husband Joe, family and friends in each place... Krug champagne in the cellar of the George V Paris, Stone crab claws from Joe's in Miami with Montrachet, duck pancakes from Chinois in LA with La Tache, black truffle lasagna from The French Laundry with Soldera, a burger from Bouchon Beverly Hills with various Colgin wines ending with butterscotch pudding and d'Yquem at home in St. Helena.