HOUSTON—On March 24, Christie’s New York will host the first live wine auction of its Spring 2014 season, featuring a remarkable collection from the Fred Parks Boardroom and Cellar at the University of Houston’s Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management.
The collection was gifted to Hilton College by Fred Parks, an acclaimed trial lawyer, philanthropist and wine enthusiast who was especially passionate about French wines. His 95-lot collection ranges from the early 1900s to contemporary vintages, including all five First Growth Bordeaux—Château Lafite Rothschild, Château Mouton Rothschild, Château Latour, Château Margaux and Château Haut-Brion. Many of these great wines are just hitting their peak.
The funds generated from this auction will benefit Hilton College’s Wine & Spirits Management Program, which has grown from a single wine-appreciation class in the 1980s to include eight beverage classes, an internship program, a beverage management and marketing minor, wine research and wine education for the public. Plans are also under way to build a wine sensory lab, and a fermentation, brewing and distillation lab. To replace the wines sold in this auction, Hilton College plans to invest in other wines more marketable for its university-based Fred Parks Boardroom clientele.
Parks, who died in 2001 at the age of 95, was first introduced to Hilton College in 1994 by renowned wine expert Denman Moody. Parks was impressed with the program and donated a portion of his wine collection to the College that same year. These wines became the foundation of the Fred Parks Wine Cellar. After his death, Parks’ estate donated the remainder of his collection to Hilton College. Those interested in supporting wine education and bidding on any of these fine wines should visit http://www.christies.com/salelanding/index.aspx?intSaleID=24415.