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Over 130 displaced in fires across metro Atlanta within past 3 days

Over 130 displaced in fires across metro Atlanta within past 3 days

Snow was expected Tuesday across North Georgia, but many metro Atlanta families saw more flames than flurries this week. As a result, over 130 people have to find new homes.

On Thursday alone, 61 people were displaced after two apartment complexes in Sandy Springs and Clayton County became engulfed in flames, according to the Red Cross.

About 20 families, consisting of at least 35 people, were forced from their homes at the Laurel Park Apartments off Ga. 85 in unincorporated Riverdale on Thursday evening, the Red Cross said in a news release.

Earlier in the day, 26 people were displaced when seven units caught on fire at the Winding River Village apartments off Winding River Drive in north Sandy Springs, the nonprofit said.

Both Sandy Springs and Roswell firefighters battled the blaze, Channel 2 Action News reported. One man was sent to the hospital after jumping out of one of the burning apartments, and a responding Sandy Springs police officer sustained minor injuries at the scene. Both are expected to be OK, Channel 2 reported.

#VIDEO: a neighbor gave me this video showing a man jumping out of a burning building in Sandy Spring. Ill have the latest on the investigation tonight at 11 @wsbtv

— Alyssa Hyman (@AlyssaHymanWSB) February 1, 2019

These two fires come less than 24 hours after 33 people were displaced in a College Park apartment fire that left 10 families without a place to live, previously reported.

Over 30 people were displaced in College Park after an apartment complex fire Wednesday night. (Channel 2 Action News)

On Tuesday, two other fires damaged three homes in Clayton County and an apartment complex in northwest Atlanta.

Two homes were nearly destroyed off Sleepy Hollow Lane in unincorporated Jonesboro around midnight Tuesday when a fire spread from neighbor to neighbor. A third home also received heavy damage on the outside, displacing 14 people in total.

RELATED: ‘It’s a nightmare’: 14 displaced after 3 Clayton County homes catch on fire

Three homes were badly damaged in a fire Tuesday just before midnight in Clayton County. (Channel 2 Action News)

Around 1:10 a.m., the Allen Hills Apartments at the intersection of Middleton Road and Allen Temple Court in northwest Atlanta caught on fire, displacing 23 people.

MORE: Nearly 2 dozen people displaced after NW Atlanta apartment fire

The Red Cross is assisting all the people displaced from these five incidents. The organization said it is providing emotional support and “assistance for immediate emergency needs like lodging, food, clothing, toiletries, replacement medications and other essentials” to those affected, according to news releases about the fires.

The causes of the fires haven’t been determined yet, and it’s unknown if the below-freezing temperatures this week have been a factor in the uptick in costly blazes.

In other news:

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TruAmerica and Tokyu Land US Corp buy two Atlanta apartment communities

TruAmerica and Tokyu Land US Corp buy two Atlanta apartment communities

TruAmerica and Tokyu Land US Corp has acquired two Atlanta apartment communities for $127.35 million. The acquired properties are Vinings Corner, a 360-unit community and The Prato, a 342-unit property.


Los Angeles and Atlanta (January 23, 2019) – TruAmerica Multifamily in partnership with Tokyu Land US Corporation has made its first investments in Georgia acquiring two Atlanta apartment communities in separate transactions totaling $127.35 million.

Since entering the Southeast property markets in 2016, TruAmerica has focused its investments largely in Florida, where it has opened a regional office and built a sizeable portfolio of nearly 4,000 units in Orlando, Tampa, Fort Myers and Palm Beach. Having developed the necessary infrastructure to manage a growing regional portfolio, the firm felt increasingly comfortable with its plans to enter new markets in 2019, according to TruAmerica Senior Managing Director of Acquisitions and Co-Chief Investment Officer Matthew Ferrari.

“We look at new markets very strategically and cautiously, and the acquisition of Vinings Corner in Smyrna and The Prato at Midtown in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward was the right opportunity to enter the Georgia market and expand our footprint in the Southeast in a very meaningful way,” said Ferrari. “We’ve been in the market for several months and the competition for well-located communities with value-add upside, has been extremely fierce. In the end, the sellers were looking for high-quality bidders with the ability to execute and close.”

Vinings Corner is a 360-unit community located at 2101 Paces Ferry Road SE in Smyrna and the broader Vinings/Cumberland submarket, one of Atlanta’s largest employment centers. Built in 1983, Vinings Corner, which will be rebranded as Junction at Vinings, represents a true value add opportunity as only three percent of the apartment homes have been fully renovated. Anticipated upgrades to the one- and two-bedroom apartment homes include new appliances, stone countertops, cabinet faces and pulls, hard-surface flooring and upgraded plumbing and lighting fixtures. TruAmerica also will implement modest upgrades to the exterior and common areas including the pool, fitness center and dog park.

In a separate transaction, the TruAmerica-led joint venture also acquired The Prato at Midtown, a 342-unit Class B property located at 400 Central Park Place, NE in the Old Fourth Ward, one of Atlanta’s fastest growing urban neighborhoods. Taking advantage of economies of scale, TruAmerica will implement a capital improvement program similar to that of Vinings Corner, with interior and exterior renovations and upgrades.

This is TruAmerica’s first joint venture with Tokyu Land US Corporation (TLUS), a subsidiary of Tokyu Land Corporation, one of the largest Japanese real estate firms. TLUS focuses on real estate development and investment in major gateway cities in the U.S.

Both acquisitions were leveraged with attractive 10-year financing from Freddie Mac arranged by Brian Eisendrath of CBRE Capital Markets, Inc. for Vinings Corner, and Trevor Fase and Russell Dey of Walker & Dunlop.
Atlanta-based CBRE Southeast Multifamily, led by Vice Chairman Kevin Geiger marketed Vinings Corner on behalf of the seller. Atlanta-based Jones Lang LaSalle Managing Director’s David Gutting and Derrick Bloom marketed Prato at Midtown on behalf of the seller.

About TruAmerica Multifamily
TruAmerica Multifamily is a vertically integrated, value-add multifamily investment firm based in Los Angeles. Founded in July 2013 as a joint venture between Robert Hart and The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, TruAmerica has been one of the country’s most active multifamily investors and manages an $8.3 billion portfolio of approximately 39,000 units across prime locations throughout Northern and Southern California, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Maryland, Florida and Georgia. For more information on TruAmerica Multifamily, visit or call (424) 325-2750.

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Motili Wins Energy Retrofit In Atlanta

Motili Wins Energy Retrofit In Atlanta

Denver-based real estate technology provider Motili, which develops a real estate technology platform which provides property owners and investors with repair and replacement coordination, reports that it has completed an energy-efficiency upgrade in Atlanta near Georgia Tech. According to the company, the project was with Westmar Lofts, a "modern" student housing community. Motili did not say what the win was worth, but said it replaced the facility’s entire heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system, which has more than 400 apartments.

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Ahlers & Ogletree’s Signature Estates Auction, Jan. 12-13 in Atlanta, features 1,144 quality lots

Ahlers & Ogletree’s Signature Estates Auction, Jan. 12-13 in Atlanta, features 1,144 quality lots

Royal Copenhagen 93-piece porcelain dinner service in the Flora Danica pattern.

(MENAFN – PRLog) A 93-piece Royal Copenhagen porcelain dinner service for twelve in the Flora Danica pattern, two figural watercolor paintings by the renowned French painter Raoul Dufy (1877-1953), and a 38-carat aquamarine necklace are a few expected top lots. Royal Copenhagen 93-piece porcelain dinner service in the Flora Danica pattern. Spread the Word
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* Dufy

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* Atlanta – Georgia – US

ATLANTA – Jan. 5, 2019 – PRLog — A 93-piece Royal Copenhagen porcelain dinner service for twelve in the Flora Danica pattern, two figural watercolor paintings by the renowned French painter Raoul Dufy (1877-1953), and a 38-carat aquamarine necklace from the collection of the late Lily Langtree are a few expected top lots in Ahlers & Ogletree’s New Year’s Signature Estates Auction slated for the weekend of January 12th and 13th, online and in the Atlanta gallery at 700 Miami Circle.

The Saturday-Sunday auction will be packed with 1,144 quality lots, mostly pulled from prominent local estates and collections. Included will be lovely period antiques, fine art by noted artists, silver, Asian arts, period furniture, fine estate jewelry and more. Online bidding is provided by,, and

Start times will be 10 am Eastern both days. The Royal Copenhagen 93-piece porcelain dinner service for twelve in the Flora Danica pattern carries the catalog’s highest pre-sale estimate, at $50,000-$70,000. Each piece is marked to the underside with the maker’s mark and each piece has the hand-painted Latin name of the plant species that’s depicted.

The untitled (Chevaux a Deauville) figural landscape by Raoul Dufy depicts onlookers at a horse race below a hillside town. The painting was rendered in watercolor and gouache on paper and is signed lower right. It’s nicely housed in a 26 inch by 32 inch frame and is expected to bring $20,000-$40,000. Dufy was a Fauvist painter and brother of Jean Dufy.

The 14kt white gold handmade aquamarine and diamond pendant and chain set features a 38.27-carat medium-blue aquamarine surrounded by 53 one-carat tw diamonds on a 24-inch chain. An accompanying document describes the necklace as being "from the collection of the late Lily Langtree" (1853-1929, the British-American socialite-actress-producer), and it was "displayed at the Paris Exhibition of 1925" (est. $25,000-$35,000).

European furniture will feature a George II-style marble-top and gilt bronze library (or dining) table, made in the 20th century in the manner of William Kent, having a Greek key frieze centered with a mask on eight square tapered and fluted legs (est. $15,000-$20,000); and a rare set of eight Irish-made Queen Anne dining chairs (six from the early 18th century and two later models), appraised in 1987 for $65,000 (est. $15,000-$20,000).

An unsigned, bust-length oil on canvas Portrait of a Lady by British painter Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792), possibly of Lady Charlotte Johnston, housed in a 32 inch by 28 inch frame, is expected to realize $15,000-$25,000. Also, an oil on canvas genre scene by Ivan Trutnev (Russian, 1827-1912), depicting two workmen shooing away stray dogs, artist signed and unframed at 28 ¾ inches by 21 ¾ inches, should make $7,000-$9,000.

Wonderful original oil on canvas paintings by listed French artists will be plentiful and will include the following works:

· L’Hiver a Pomponne by Henri Lebasque (1865-1937), painted in 1906 and signed lower right, an Impressionistic landscape rendering depicting a view on a river in winter, with the canvas measuring about 23 ¾" by 28 ¾" (est. 20,000-$40,000).

· Place de la Bastille, by Edouard Cortes (1882-1969), signed lower left, depicting a Parisian street scene, 23" by 27 ¼" framed (est. $10,000-$20,000).

· Seaside Landscape with Gardener (1978) by Marcel Dyf (1899-1985), one of three works by Dyf in the auction, depicting an ocean shoreline with a woman gardening on a bank, signed and inscribed to verso with date/signature (est. $4,000-$6,000).

· La Danseuse, painted in the mid-20th century by Charles Levier (1920-2003), showing two female dancers and artist signed to lower right and to verso. Verso of canvas also has gallery label remnants specifying artist, title (est. $1,500-$3,000).

An American coin silver soup ladle by Thomas Phillips (1774-1843), with a period script "C" to the front of the handle and a design that suggests it was made during Phillips’ first period in Paris, Ky. (1792-1818), 14 inches long, weighing 5.88 ozt, should bring $10,000-$15,000; and a 70-piece porcelain dinner service in the Audubon pattern by Limoges for Tiffany & Co., each piece with the maker and pattern marks to the underside, is expected to reach $8,000-$16,000.

A Ming Dynasty scroll after Qiu Ying (Chinese, circa 1494-1552), depicting a battle and titled Scene of Zixushanglin, made from ink and pigment on silk and likely crafted late Ming or early Qing, with several period seals, should finish at $10,000-$15,000; while a clear and frosted glass Margaret vase by Rene Lalique (French, 1860-1945), from a model introduced in 1929, about 9 inches tall and marked to the underside "R. Lalique France", is expected to make $6,000-$8,000.

Previews will be held Monday through Friday, January 7th-11th, from 10-5 daily. A preview party will be held on Thursday, January 10th, from 6-9 pm. Light refreshments will be served. Doors will open both auction days, Saturday and Sunday, January 12th and 13th, promptly at 9 am EDT.

Ahlers & Ogletree is a multi-faceted, family-owned business that spans the antiques, estate sale, wholesale, liquidation, auction and related industries. Ahlers & Ogletree is always seeking quality consignments for future auctions. To consign an item, an estate or a collection, you may call them at 404-869-2478; or, you can send them an e-mail, at ( mailto: ).

To learn more about Ahlers & Ogletree and the Signature Estates Auction planned for January 12th-13th in Atlanta, Ga., visit . Updates are posted frequently. You can also follow Ahlers & Ogletree via social media on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook.

Elizabeth Rickenbaker


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Column: State gives Grove Park apartment development major boost

Column: State gives Grove Park apartment development major boost

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on Dec. 14, 2018

The Westside community of Grove Park has just received a major boost from the state.

The Georgia Department of Community Affairs has awarded the Grove Park Foundation and its partner, Columbia Residential, 9 percent Low Income Housing Tax Credits to build a new 110-unit, mixed-income, multi-family housing development.

The residential development is part of a larger neighborhood revitalization strategy for Grove Park, which also includes initiatives in education, community wellness and financial empowerment in partnership with Grove Park residents. Grove Park is part of the Purpose Built Communities network.

Currently, the Grove Park neighborhood is 97 percent single-family homes, with limited offerings for affordable, multi-family housing.

Debra Edelson and Wendy Stewart in Grove Park (Photo by Maria Saporta)

The Grove Park Gardens development will offer 75 percent of its units to residents earning 50 percent of Atlanta’s area median income – ensuring options for housing affordability.

It will be the first multi-family rental development built in decades in the community, and it comes at a time when Grove Park residents face a complex set of market pressures, from the development of the future Westside Reservoir Park, to the Beltline trails, and other commercial and residential developments that will bring new residents seeking to live in-town.

“Increasing the quantity and quality of affordable and market rate housing in Grove Park is a critical step in creating more opportunity for the residents of the neighborhood,” said Debra Edelson, Executive director of the Grove Park Foundation. “This will help in our collective mission of working with local partners, leaders and residents to create a more healthy, equitable and vibrant community.”

Christopher Nunn, the state’s community affairs commissioner, endorsed the project.

“Grove Park Gardens epitomizes DCA’s commitment to housing as a platform for community and resident success,” Nunn said in a statement. “DCA is proud to continue this partnership with Purpose Built Communities as the Grove Park Foundation works to revitalize this historic Atlanta neighborhood.”

Grove Park Gardens development will encompass 110 apartments and will feature one, two- and three-bedroom units. It will feature modern units, a fitness center, computer center and a playground. The development will consist of primarily garden-style apartments, and it should be completed in 2020.

“As the city of Atlanta continues to grow and advance, so does the vital need for quality mixed-income housing, and we can’t leave our neighbors behind,“ said Noel Khalil, founding partner and CEO at Columbia Residential.

The Grove Park Gardens development will feature modern units, a fitness center, computer center, and a playground.

Gift in memory of Wilton D. Looney

Emory University has received $2 million to name the Carlyle Fraser Heart Center Medical Directorship after Wilton D. Looney. The gift was made by Rollins Inc., RPC Inc., Marine Products Corp. and Rollins family members. Looney, who passed away in May 2018, served as a director on all three of the Rollins’ company boards – beginning in 1975 and retiring in 2013.

The gift establishes a fund to name and support the directorship of the Carlyle Fraser Heart Center and its research efforts and to enhance the Looney director’s strategic vision for the center. Robert A. Guyton, MD, professor of surgery in Emory University School of Medicine, is currently director of the Carlyle Fraser Heart Center.

“Wilton Looney was deeply engaged in the Carlyle Fraser Heart Center from its inception, and his many friends and associates in the Rollins companies wanted to honor his legacy through a gift that would not only name the center’s directorship, but also contribute to strengthening and carrying out its future vision,” said Amy Rollins Kreisler. “Mr. Looney’s leadership and wise counsel were fundamental to the success of the Rollins companies, and his wife, Martha, and our families enjoyed a deep and abiding friendship.”

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Summit Contracting Group Building Luxury Apartments in Atlanta’s Upper Westside

Summit Contracting Group Building Luxury Apartments in Atlanta’s Upper Westside

Market Rate apartments with exceptional amenities are under construction in the up-and-coming Upper Westside neighborhood, with easy access to Buckhead and Midtown.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Nov. 27, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Summit Contracting Group, a Multifamily General Contractor with offices in Jacksonville, FL and Atlanta, GA, has started construction on NOVEL Upper Westside luxury apartments in Atlanta, GA.

NOVEL Upper Westside will consist of 345 units in three buildings, with net square footage of 305,405. Exceptional community amenities include a fitness center, club rooms, pool courtyard, park/plaza, roof-top lounge, bark park, and convenient access to Buckhead and Midtown Atlanta.

Construction is planned to be complete by Fall 2020. The developer is Crescent Communities and the architect is Rule Joy Trammel + Rubio, LLC.

Contact Summit at 904-268-5515 for more information about the project; for information on the company visit our website

About Summit Contracting Group, Inc.:
Summit has built more than 350 multifamily projects nationwide. Molded by industry experience, inspired by a competitive spirit, and focused on a team approach Summit’s projects represent over 100,000 completed multifamily units. With an experienced management team combined with strong subcontractor relationships, Summit has been able to provide their clients with successful projects throughout the nation. More information on the company’s notable achievements, services provided, key leadership, or history is available at or by following the company on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

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Corporate Jobs Making a Comeback with Atlanta Leading the Way

Corporate Jobs Making a Comeback with Atlanta Leading the Way

Rajeev Dhawan

ATLANTA — Recent job growth in just one quarter equaled nearly the entire first half of the year. That growth rate will slow but Atlanta will account for nearly 70 percent of it.

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Publix, Kroger, Whole Foods: Thanksgiving 2018 GA Grocery Hours

Publix, Kroger, Whole Foods: Thanksgiving 2018 GA Grocery Hours

Putting Thanksgiving dinner on the table typically requires more than one shopping trip. Whether it’s brown sugar for the sweet potatoes, whipped cream for the pies, or rolls to sop up turkey gravy, something always gets overlooked on the first pass through the grocery store. Or, if you have guests who show up but didn’t RSVP, a quick dash to the store for more goodies might be needed at the last minute.

Don’t fret, you’re not alone. Few things seem to unify Americans these days, but one of them is that overwhelming feeling of dread when you realize a crucial ingredient — cranberry sauce or wine — for that perfect Thanksgiving feast never made it into the shopping cart.

Are any Atlanta metro grocery stores open on Thanksgiving, Thursday, Nov. 22? Some food stores in the region — Kroger, Whole Foods, and Walmart — are open on Thanksgiving, but with reduced hours, so check on individual stores for their hours. The day after, most return to normal operating hours. Other chains, including ALDI, Publix and Costco, are closed for the holiday. (See full list below.)

To help you know the status of your go-to stores over the upcoming holiday, we have open and closed hours for stores, plus links to their websites. Here is the status for Georgia grocery chains, taken from their websites and emails to Patch.

Grocery Store Hours

Publix: All stores and pharmacies will be closed on Thanksgiving Day; regular hours resume on Friday, Nov. 23.Kroger: Most will open around 6 a.m. and close around midnight.Albertson’s: Most will open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.Save-A-Lot: Most will be open regular hours on Thanksgiving, call ahead to check.Winn Dixie: Many stores will open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.Whole Foods: Many will open at 7 a.m. Some will close as early as 2 p.m.Fresh Market: All stores open 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.Walmart: Stores will be open on Thanksgiving Day and will unveil Black Friday deals at 6 p.m. on Thursday.Target: All stores open 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Stores That Are Closed On Thanksgiving

(For more news like this, find your local Patch here. If you have an iPhone, click here to get the free Patch iPhone app; download the free Patch Android app here. And like Patch on Facebook!)

Photo by Carly Baldwin/Patch

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Emma Capital Buys Atlanta Property for $36M

Avenues 85

Emma Capital Investments Inc. has acquired Avenues 85 Apartments in Atlanta, Ga., for $35.7 million. The acquisition marks the 32nd U.S. purchase for Toronto-based Emma Capital, bringing its total acquisitions to approximately 8,500 apartment units.

Situated at 2515 Northeast Expressway, the 1967-built garden-style apartment community features 392 units. The property sprawls across 31 acres in Northlake, one of Atlanta’s most vibrant submarkets.

Avenues 85 features 20 two-story buildings encompassing 195 one-bedroom and 197 two-bedroom apartments in five different floor plans. The asset’s amenity package includes the largest fitness center in the submarket, as well as a business center, playground, and 750 parking spaces. Monthly rents range between $918 and 1,193, according to data provided by Yardi Matrix. The property is currently 92.3 percent occupied.

Access to Prominent Areas

Offering access to Buckhead’s trophy office and retail settings, the community is positioned along the I-85 corridor, with access to the Northeast Atlanta market and Buckhead’s trophy office and retail offerings. Because almost all Avenues 85 units have outdated interior finishes, the apartment community is an excellent candidate for unit finishes and appliance upgrades that will yield rent increases.

“The property’s strategic location provides incredible access to one of Atlanta’s most burgeoning growth areas and great access to prominent areas such as Buckhead”, said Haya Zilberboim, Emma Capital’s founding partner and co-owner, in prepared remarks. ”By improving the property’s amenities and upgrading its unit interiors, we will provide a great, cost-effective alternative for tenants wishing to be close to these economic drivers.”

This is Emma Capital’s 13th investment in the Atlanta market, which bolsters economic diversity, transportation access, low cost of business and strong population and job growth.

Earlier this year, the company entered the Indianapolis market by acquiring a multifamily portfolio for $63.9 million.

Image courtesy of Yardi Matrix

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Parks Redwine, owner of NorthWest Wine Summit competition, dies in Atlanta

Home > History > Parks Redwine, owner of NorthWest Wine Summit competition, dies in Atlanta

H. Parks Redwine II, right, chats with California wine writer Mike Dunne during an early Platinum Judging in Kennewick, Wash. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

Hill Parks Redwine II, a longtime ambassador for the Pacific Northwest wine industry as owner of the NorthWest Wine Summit Wine Competition, died of cancer Sunday, June 3, in Atlanta, Ga., at the age of 70.

Redwine, who routinely carried a copy of his birth certificate in his wallet to prove the origin of his name, founded the NorthWest Wine Summit in 1996, an event he staged for most of its history at Timberline Lodge on Oregon’s Mount Hood.

“My worst fears have come to be,” Chuck Reininger, co-owner/winemaker of Reininger Winery in Walla Walla, said when told of the news Monday. “Oh, man, Parks is one of the most genuine, sweetest men I know. He really believed in the Northwest wine industry and did so much to promote it. He loved the people and the traveling to meet them. The Northwest has a lot to be thankful to him for in terms of the exposure and the attention that he’s brought to our industry.”

One of Redwine’s longtime friends in Atlanta, retired Navy pilot Tom Reagan, told Great Northwest Wine, “He loved that region y’all live in. He absolutely loved it and was very dedicated to it.”

Redwine died on the same day his late wife’s birthday. Funeral home services are being provided by H.M. Patterson & Son-Spring Hill Chapel of Atlanta. Earlier this year, his wife of 45 years, Emily died at the age of 69 after suffering with Alzheimer’s for several years. They are survived by two sons.

He began struggling with his health this spring, hospitalized in British Columbia and then Oregon while staging those two legs of the NorthWest Wine Summit.

“I asked him how he was doing when we last talked, and Parks told me, ‘I’m not going to lie to you, I’m doing awful. I’m so heartbroken by the loss of Emily,’ ” Reininger said. “He mentioned that he wasn’t feeling all that well. He had a wonderful Southern gentry about him and was such a pleasure to be around.”

Redwine pursues wine rather than banking
H. Parks Redwine II evaluates a flight of red wines during an early Platinum Judging, conducted by Wine Press Northwest magazine. (Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

Redwine grew up in the family that founded Farmers and Merchants Bank of Fayetteville, Ga. Its assets reportedly were valued at $100 million when it was sold in 1989 to Barnett Banks.

“He was a very modest person about it,” Reagan said. “I never saw an example of him trying to show off.”

Rather than pursue a career in the banking industry, Redwine’s knowledge of wine and literary ability led him to writing a wine column for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution from 1976 to 1981. During that time, he began to judge wine competitions throughout the world, a list that included the Los Angeles County Fair, the International Wine Challenge in Bordeaux, the Orange Wine Fair in the Rhône Valley and the Oregon State Fair.

Wine journalist Dan Berger, who is based in the Sonoma County city of Santa Rosa, Calif., often judged with Redwine at Wine Press Northwest magazine’s year-end Platinum Judging in the Columbia Valley city of Kennewick, Wash. Berger recalled their first meeting came at historic Simi Winery in Healdsburg during the mid-1980s.

“I saw his name on his name plate and said, ‘You just made that up, right?’ ” Berger recalled with a chuckle.

Redwine often would jokingly — so it would seem — in his Southern drawl refer to the Civil War as “The War of Yankee Aggression,” but his first-hand knowledge of the world of wine largely was unchallenged.

“He was an interesting character,” Berger said. “You could call him a walking encyclopedia of post-Prohibition California winemaking. He was fascinated by the esoterica, of the ins and outs of California winemaking from about 1940 through the ’70s, and then he was still current in that knowledge because of his competition connections.”

The topic of the obscure red grape Cabernet Pfeffer captured Redwine’s attention enough to prompt him to own tiny Pfenix Winery in California. A NorthWest Wine Summit dinner ritual was an eloquent and detailed 10- to 20-minute speech by Redwine about the grape variety, its vineyard sourcing and his pet project that spanned just a few vintages. Production was minuscule, yet he offered generous pours to anyone interested in experiencing his wine.

“Cabernet Pfeffer was a classic example,” Berger said. “And he could tell you how many people in California were making Lagrein. That’s the sort of stuff he was interested in. He had an expertise that generally you would think about only being available to Californians. His knowledge was always surprising to me because he lived on the East Coast.”

Atlanta importer launches NW competition in 1996
The NorthWest Wine Summit was staged at Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood for most of its history. (Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

Since 1990, Redwine served as President of the Atlanta Improvement Co., a cleverly named company founded in 1978 licensed to import wine, beer and spirits, and his global connections helped him with his wine competitions.

During its 22-year history, Redwine grew the NorthWest Wine Summit to include wine, cider, sake and spirits produced Alberta, Alaska, British Columbia, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Saskatchewan, Washington and Wyoming.

Walter Gehringer, winemaker for Gehringer Brothers Estate Winery in Oliver, BC, said Redwine’s death marked “an end of an era.”

“It’s sad to hear this,” Gehringer said. “He had an appreciation for the full range of wine and a fondness for everything. He had a wealth of experience when it came to tasting, and he experienced a lot.”

Gehringer, one of the Pacific Northwest’s most decorated winemakers, noted that Redwine could be relentless when it came to recruiting winemakers to help judge his competitions.

“He was actually in our wine shop this winter looking after this year’s competition,” Gehringer said. “He’s been hounding me to be a judge forever. One time, he asked if we could have dinner, but I already had plans that night. So he asked about the next night, and I told him that I was on my way over to the coast. He was so insistent that he said, ‘I could have dinner with you over there.’ He was very persistent and sincere in his efforts.”

The lengths that Redwine went to support the Northwest wine industry were remarkable, Gehringer said.

“What really surprised me about him is that he would hop in his car and drive all the way out here,” Gehringer said. “The guy was really unbelievable in that way. He split up his competition, judging wines up here in B.C. and down in Oregon as he tried to accommodate everybody’s challenges.”

Redwine recruited Northwest winemakers to judge
Chuck Reininger, owner and winemaker for Reininger Winery in Walla Walla, Wash., opened his winery in 2000 and regularly entered the NorthWest Wine Summit. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

Reininger, a former climbing guide at Mount Rainier, was among the many winemakers Redwine cajoled into judging the NorthWest Wine Summit at storied Timberline Lodge.

“I feel fortunate that I had the opportunity to judge for him,” Reininger said. “It was great experience, and it was fun. He was not solely a Northwest wine advocate. He could talk about wine from anywhere in the world. He loved wine, and he always had a little story about any type of wine, its history or the people who made it. He really was a walking encyclopedia, a very kind and generous man and he really reached out to include people.”

There also was Redwine’s unique practice of purchasing expensive wines from famous Northwest wineries and slotting them in front of the NorthWest Wine Summit panels. After the competition, if one of those wines received a gold medal from the panel, Redwine would contact the winery. If they were willing to pay the entry fee, then he would publish the results of that gold medal.

“He was just trying to make it an all-encompassing judging of wineries from the Northwest,” Reininger said. “And the wineries that did enter received as fair as an opportunity as possible. He was so unassuming and very quiet, never looking to be a grandstander.”

The judging panels often included wine professionals from beyond the Northwest. They were responsible for their own expenses, but once they arrived at the competition venue, their other expenses were covered.

“He didn’t want only people fixed with a Northwest palate to be judging Northwest wines,” Reininger said. “And a testament to his competition is that one year an apple dessert wine from BC won best of show. I think that’s pretty darn cool. He made a sincere effort to make his competition as clean and fair as possible.”

It often would take months for Redwine to make public the final results of the Northwest Wine Summit, and Reininger playfully pointed out that his friend also had a propensity for losing track of time while traveling.

“One time, when he was spending the weekend at our house, he called from somewhere in Montana,” Reininger said. “ ‘Chuck, I’m running a little bit late. I know was supposed to be there around 4 or 5 o’clock, but don’t expect me for dinner. I’ll be there in two or three hours.’

“He was over in the Bitterroot Valley and I just started laughing,” Reininger said. “I said, ‘Parks, you are in the West. You are least six hours away, and if you take the back roads that you like to do, that’s more like eight hours.’ He showed up about 12:30 at night, but that’s how he loved to travel. Taking the back roads, seeing the scenery and learning the history.”

An uncertain future for Northwest Wine Summit
Parks Redwine and the late Bob Woehler, the dean of Washington wine writers when he died in 2011, chat at the Columbia Gorge Hotel in Hood River, Ore. (Photo by Nancy Sauer/Special to Great Northwest Wine)

Andy Perdue, wine columnist for The Seattle Times, was an editor and wine writer at the Tri-City (Wash.) Herald when he got an invitation to learn more about the NorthWest Wine Summit.

“I met H. Parks around 1999, after we had launched Wine Press Northwest magazine,” Perdue said. “He took me to dinner in Kennewick, opening several top-tier Burgundies. As editor of the magazine, he wanted me involved in the Northwest Wine Summit.

“The first year, I helped write up notes on each wine tasted. In subsequent years, I was involved in tracking results, helping pre-evaluate wines, or organizing the backroom, judging and recruiting judges,” Perdue continued. “He was a true character, and we enjoyed a nice friendship in subsequent years. I always appreciated how this Southern gent had a passion for Northwest wines. That is how I hope he’ll be remembered.”

Gregg McConnell, editor of Wine Press Northwest, said, “Parks was a mentor and a friend. He was the ultimate Southern gentleman, modest in his brilliance, gracious in his encounters with others and admirably devoted to his late wife, Emily. I will miss him, but the knowledge he is again holding Emily’s hand warms my heart.”

Stephen Reustle of Reustle-Prayer Rock Vineyards in Roseburg, Ore., served as a silent judge at Wine Press Northwest’s Platinum Judging and enjoyed witnessing the back-and-forth between Berger and Redwine.

“I did not know him well but had a great respect for his intellectual curiosity,” Reustle said. “We had a deep debate and discussion one evening at the Platinum Judging a few years back about faith and religion. He had a quick mind and love for debate, as well as a strong opinion about most everything. I sent him a biblical commentary by John MacArthur on the book of John. I pray it had an impact.”

Reagan developed a business relationship and then a friendship with Redwine through the Atlanta Improvement Co., and they collaborated on a number of international wine competitions. Redwine was unable to orchestrate this year’s final leg of the NorthWest Wine Summit after he was hospitalized in Hood River just as the judging was about to begin. One of the judges, Seattle-area wine auctioneer Tom DiNardo, jumped in to organize the competition on behalf of Redwine.

“He had kidney cancer and in his bladder, and it had spread to his back and his lungs,” Reagan said.

Friends noted that Redwine began to complain about pain around one of his kidneys in January 2017 and underwent biopsies several months apart. Each time, they came up benign. This spring, a third biopsy revealed cancer, and it had begun to spread. Reagan said a close friend in Atlanta arranged to have Redwine flown home about a month ago from Hood River. He immediately was hospitalized.

Soon after returning to Atlanta, Redwine handed the reigns of his import business to Michelle Schreck, vice president of sales for the Atlanta Improvement Co. Reagan predicted she will move forward with the NorthWest Wine Summit.

“I would bet that she’s going to take it to the next level, even though he’s gone,” Reagan said.

Reininger said, “Parks would call me whenever he was coming through Walla Walla. Normally we’d get together. I’m just brokenhearted that we couldn’t get together this time.”


Eric Degerman is the president and CEO of Great Northwest Wine. He is a journalist with more than 30 years of daily newspaper experience and has been writing about wine since 1998. He co-founded Wine Press Northwest with Andy Perdue and served as its managing editor for 15 years. He is a frequent wine judge along the West Coast and contributor to Pacific Northwest Golfer magazine, the region’s longest-running golf publication.

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