2018 Special Guests
Despite having a successful career with Citicorp Investment Services, André Hueston Mack decided to leave his “desk job” to pursue his passion for wine. While working as a sommelier in San Antonio, Mack discovered the joys of introducing guests to the little known vineyards that first attracted him to the business and “the instant gratification of a guest’s reaction.” While still in Texas, Mack was awarded the prestigious title of Best Young Sommelier in America by the highly regarded Chaine des Rotisseurs. This recognition propelled him into the opportunity to work as a sommelier at Thomas Keller’s world-renowned The French Laundry in Yountville, California. Mack went on to accept the position of Head Sommelier at Keller’s equally famed Per Se in New York City, where he managed a 1800 selection award-winning wine list and consulted with Chef Keller on menu and pairing development regularly. Winemaking has always been a dream of his and came to fruition when he set up shop under the moniker of Mouton Noir Wines. Throughout his career Mack has forged unique relationships with luminary growers and winemakers from around the planet. It is with this prestigious group that Mack currently creates his wines.
Mack has been featured in major publications, such as Food and Wine, Wine & Spirits Magazine, The New York Times, Women’s Health, Ebony, and Wall Street Journal. Mr. Mack was honored in 2007 with The Network Journal’s 40-Under-Forty Achievement Award for his outstanding contributions to business. Mack is a zealous wine educator who has been invited to host seminars as well as conduct panel discussions at numerous esteemed food and wine events. He enjoys sharing his fondness of wine with others.
Photo by Michael Muller
Grand Weekend: Grand Artisans' Dinner & Grand Auction
Charlie Hanavich attended The University of Alabama where he studied Advertising and Art History. While his creativity and artistic talent were evident from childhood, it was not until his later years that he truly discovered his love for painting.
The summer of 2006 was a defining period. Searching for direction in life, Charlie moved to New York for what proved to be a short-lived visit to his own future. While he did not find the business direction he was seeking, his time in New York reignited his creativity and was the catalyst for his future as an artist.
In 2012 he moved to Miami to hone his skill. Host to international art fairs such as Art Basel, Miami’s art scene was exploding with opportunity at the highest levels. Immersing himself in Miami’s artistic landscape, Charlie was able to find himself as an artist and develop his distinctive style of painting.
Fueled by his interactions and experiences, Charlie is constantly refining and evolving his unique process and technique. The CH Grid Series, his most recent body of work, is strongly influenced by Chuck Close.
Charlie’s paintings are displayed in numerous private homes and commercial spaces both domestically and internationally. He now works and resides in Atlanta, Georgia.
Born and bred Memphians, Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman opened Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen in 2008 to feature innovative Italian cooking rooted in Southern tradition. The chefs trained at Johnson and Wales University in Charleston, South Carolina and the Italian Culinary Institute in Calabria, Italy.
Their restaurant, Hog & Hominy, is a wood burning, neighborhood eatery and has been named one of the top new restaurants by GQ Magazine, Southern Living, and Bon Appetit as well as a semi-finalist for Best New Restaurant from the James Beard Foundation, which also named the chefs semi-finalists for the Best Chef: Southeast award for three consecutive years in 2012, 2013, and 2014. In 2013, they were awarded Food & Wine Magazine’s Best New Chefs Award and named in Starchefs.com’s 2014 Kentucky-Tennessee Rising Star Chefs. In his review of the restaurants in 2013, Pete Wells of the New York Times called the restaurants “A sibling rivalry worth diving into.”
Early 2015 saw the opening of the chefs’ third space, a craft butcher shop and café, complete with classic pastries, coffee, espresso and cicchetti served in the dim sum style. Porcellino’s Craft Butcher received four stars from The Commercial Appeal and made the Bon Appetit list of Top 50 new restaurants for 2015. The chefs debuted two new restaurants in 2016: Catherine & Mary’s in Downtown Memphis and Josephine Estelle in New Orleans in partnership with the Ace Hotel.
The duo's next venture was announced in June 2017. The Gray Canary, set to open in January 2018, will be a new restaurant concept inside Old Dominick Distillery.
Proprietor and winemaker David W. Hejl launched DELLA (now Domaine Della) wines with fellow founders, his sister and brother-in-law, Lee and Ernie LeRoy. Domaine Della honors their mother, Della Winifred Dale, who died long before her time.
Hejl developed a passion for fine wine working as a waiter, sommelier and chef while in school, but found true inspiration living in Paris. He has been crafting Pinot Noir since 2010.
“Having been a student of fine wine and food my whole life, this project is a culmination of three decades of experience,” explained Hejl. “I have been hand crafting distinctive Pinot Noir since 2010. Domaine Della was created around my obsession and enchantment with Pinot Noir. I am so grateful to my many mentors over the years to get me to this place. My quest is to create an exceptional wine for you and your shared special moments and memories while executing against the envisioned future of a timeless brand which will endure the generations. Our mission is to craft intense and adventurous wines by partnering with the very best growers to create an exceptional wine.”
As a teenager Jesse Katztraveled with his photographer father, Andy, to shoot the vineyards of Burgundy and the seed was planted. Barely a decade later, every Jesse Katz wine that Robert Parker has reviewed has received 90+ points and Wine Enthusiast, Drinks Business, Wine & Spirits and Forbes magazines have all named Jesse as one of the brightest stars in the winemaking world.
It took a lot of hard work in those intervening years. A degree in enology from California State University, Fresno and being mentored by the likes of Andy Erickson, Paul Hobbs and Hans Vinding-Diers has certainly helped. While working for Screaming Eagle in Napa and luxury wine estates Viña Cobos and Bodega Noemia in Argentina, Jesse has made some of the most highly sought after wine at some of the most famous wine houses in the world. Being the youngest hired Head Winemaker in the U.S. when he joined Lancaster Estate allowed him to fully develop his personal, terrior-driven style. Now, with the launch of his own winery, Devil Proof, Jesse is attempting something that no one has done before ... to create a California Malbec that rivals the best from the great wine estates of Argentina.
Peay Vineyards seeks to make elegant, balanced and terroir-driven Pinot noir, Syrah, and Chardonnay from their estate vineyard located in the far northwestern corner of the West Sonoma Coast.
Husband and wife, Nick Peay & Vanessa Wong, grow and make the wine and brother Andy Peay sells the wine and runs the business.
With minor exceptions, all wines are made from grapes grown on their 51-acre hilltop vineyard located above a river in the far northwestern corner of the West Sonoma Coast, 4 miles from the Pacific Ocean at Sea Ranch.
They grow 34 acres of Pinot noir (4 Pinots: Scallop Shelf, Pomarium, Ama, Sonoma Coast), eight acres of Syrah (2 Syrah: Les Titans, La Bruma), seven acres of Chardonnay (2 Chardonnay: Estate, Sonoma Coast), 1.8 acres of Viognier (Estate), 0.4 acres of Roussanne and 0.2 acres of Marsanne (Estate blend).
"We farm organically and maintain our certifications for fish-friendly farming and integrated pest management. The health of our vineyard dictates these approaches to farming and making wine," the group explains. "We also run on bio-diesel at the vineyard and solar power at both the vineyard and winery."
Vanessa - who worked at Château Lafite-Rothschild in Bordeaux and as winemaker at Peter Michael Winery – crafts wines with focus and intensity that capture the cool climate location and express the minerality and fruit complexity that have become the hallmark of wines from their vineyard.