The idea of a wine auction fundraiser was born in 2000 when Susan Hyde attended a volunteer conference in Detroit and learned of the High Museum Atlanta’s very successful wine auction. Three years later the time was right. Susan and her husband, Lee Hyde, offered to lead the effort and enlisted the help of Jan and Pete Peter, and Carolyn Browning.
Bob Gilbertson of Bob’s Liquor & Wine was next enlisted for his expertise and guidance. The team then met with the late Tom Jackson, a co-founder of the L’Ete du Vin wine auction in Nashville. The concept was elevated to a higher level and L’Amour du Vin (the love of wine) was born.
Local wine distributors and the California Wine Industry were approached and the idea was warmly received.
One of the greatest results of the first California trip was a meeting with a winery whose manager was the former wine buyer at Blackberry Farm who presented the idea of hosting a sponsors’ dinner there. Et Voila! The first sponsors’ dinner was hosted by the late Sam Beall in 2005.
Sam and the Blackberry Farm team elevated the auction dinner in 2006 with their expertise, chefs, and staff. Through their efforts, a nice catered event was transformed into an amazing food and wine experience with exquisite service. Blackberry Farm’s partnership has brought some of the finest featured wineries in California and best chefs in America, and today L’Amour du Vin is undoubtedly the finest food and wine event in the State of Tennessee.
In 2007, Lexus of Knoxville became the Presenting Sponsor and continues to be so today. This extraordinary partnership and investment in L’Amour du Vin has elevated it to the first class event it is today. Lexus of Knoxville and the White Family have been key to the success of L’Amour du Vin.
We are very fortunate to have many local wine collectors and friends of the museum that contribute from their private collections.
In addition to wines, our patrons and stakeholders have generously donated incredible wine pairing dinners in their homes and restaurants, stays in vacation homes, as well as wine-related items donated by local merchants.
One of the most rewarding results of the KMA’s 14-year history is to see how loyal patrons and local contributors have grown in their appetite for wine collecting, how their donations over the years have escalated in quality and value, and how the L’Amour du Vin audience has grown in appreciation of fine wines.
Thank you. We are so grateful for your support!
• Offer free admission to everyone. Annually we welcome 60,000 visitors and reached 6,000 students in 22 surrounding counties through on-site workshops, art integrated partnerships and outreach programs.
• Offer exhibitions featuring outstanding art and artists from East Tennessee and around the world. Some of our upcoming exhibitions include:
• Offer scholarships for our Summer Art Academy for youth ages 3-15. One of our most popular educational programs, the program completed its 22nd year this summer and hosted 350 students.
• Offer grants for bus transportation to enable schools and students, to participate in the unique learning experiences at the museum.
• Provide an Education Gallery where elementary schools can spotlight the work of our youngest artists.
• Offer two Family Fun Days a year where the museum invites the entire community to a day filled with music, art demonstrations, and hands-on art making activities that relate to the themes of current exhibitions.
In order to comply with the regulations of the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission, we cannot allow auction lots of wine purchased at the silent or live auction to be removed from the Museum. All wine must be picked up from a licensed retailer. We apologize for this inconvenience.