Ursula Hermacinski Leaves Christie's

Jan 6, 1999

Wine auctioneer Ursula Hermacinski has left her position as director of Christie's Los Angeles wine department. Hermacinski joined Christie's in 1984 as a secretary to the rug department, eventually working her way into wine. Her outgoing manner and impressive skills with a gavel have since made her one of the nation's top wine auctioneers.

"Personally and professionally, I've taken it as far as I can," said the 37-year-old Hermacinski. After New York's wine laws changed, Hermacinski helped Christie's enter that new and lucrative auction market in 1995. Two years later, she opened Christie's first Los Angeles wine department. "Those years were so exciting," she recalled. "Now all of a sudden, the excitement is outside the castle walls."

Hermacinski suffered a setback in 1997 when she was seriously injured in a car accident. "My first priority is still my health," she noted. "Recovery takes a lot longer than I thought it would." During a three-month medical leave of absence last summer, the auctioneer had time to reflect upon her career.

"I couldn't do it all," she said, "the job at Christie's, my personal life, the charity auctions and my health."

However, Hermacinski is not bowing out of wine. "I'm passionate about the wine business," she explained, but would not reveal her plans for the immediate future. "I will no longer be a mainstay on the traditional wine auction circuit--and I stress the word 'traditional.' But that doesn't mean I'm going away. I have commitments into the millennium."

Related articles:

  • July 16, 1997
    Sotheby's and Christie's Add Wine Industry Stars in Los Angeles

  • April 2, 1997
    Christie's Auctioneer Injured in Car Wreck

  • News

    You Might Also Like

    Bordeaux Adapts with New Grapes

    Bordeaux Adapts with New Grapes

    In entry-level bottlings, winemakers can begin using Touriga Nacional, Marselan and other …

    Feb 26, 2021
    The Restaurant at Meadowood Returns with Pop-Up at Ojai Valley Inn

    The Restaurant at Meadowood Returns with Pop-Up at Ojai Valley Inn

    The Napa Grand Award winner that suffered devastating wildfire damage is back for a …

    Feb 25, 2021
    Napa's Duckhorn Files Papers to Go Public with Stock Offering

    Napa's Duckhorn Files Papers to Go Public with Stock Offering

    The growing premium wine company, which owns brands from Decoy to Kosta Browne, made a …

    Feb 23, 2021
    Penfolds' Peter Gago Talks Blending California and Australia

    Penfolds' Peter Gago Talks Blending California and Australia

    The veteran chief winemaker discusses the new California wine project and what the Aussie …

    Feb 22, 2021
    Could a Key Ingredient in Red Wine Help Treat COVID-19?

    Could a Key Ingredient in Red Wine Help Treat COVID-19?

    In lab tests, tannins stopped an enzyme that the coronavirus uses to replicate

    Feb 18, 2021
    Screaming Eagle Magnums and Opus One Imperials: Napa Valley Vintners Online Auction Offers Rare Bottles

    Screaming Eagle Magnums and Opus One Imperials: Napa Valley Vintners Online Auction Offers Rare Bottles

    The nonprofit's inaugural library wine auction offers once-in-a-lifetime lots from Napa's …

    Feb 18, 2021