Charles Curtis will take over as vice president and head of wine sales for Christie's North America on July 28 overseeing the English house's United States wine auctions. He replaces Richard Brierley, who has returned to the United Kingdom for personal reasons and is working at the London wine department of Christie's.
Originally trained as a chef, Curtis graduated from Le Cordon Bleu culinary institute in Paris. He then apprenticed at the Crillon Hotel and at La Grande Cascade before embarking on a restaurant career in the United States. Since entering the wine trade in 1994, he has worked as a wholesale salesperson, sales manager, supplier representative and, most recently, as the director of wine and spirit education for Moët Hennessy USA.
In October 2004, Curtis became a Master of Wine. At Moët Hennessy he was exposed to collectible wines such as Château Cheval-Blanc, Château d'Yquem and Krug, all part of the company's portfolio. "We would often conduct trade tastings and also connect with collectors," he said.
Concurrent with the Curtis appointment, Christie's announced it would be resuming wine sales in Asia after a seven-year hiatus and that the firm has already scheduled a wine auction for Nov. 29 that will include a major consignment from Château Latour. (Château Latour is owned by François Pinault, who also owns Christie's.)
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