Paul Hart is the CEO and a founder of Hart Davis Hart Wine Co. He has spent his career working closely with some of the most prominent collectors, consignors and sommeliers around the world. He entered the auction business shortly after graduating from the University of Notre Dame in 1990. With twenty years of executive experience in the wine auction world, Paul has guided HDH to its place as a leader in the industry. Under Paul’s leadership, HDH has seen remarkable growth since forming in 2004, and was #1 in US auction sales in both 2010 and 2011.
Paul joined the auction house Christie’s in 1990, where he first met Michael Davis. There, he absorbed the wine auction business and, in 1993, at the age of 25, went on to found Davis & Company Wine Auctioneers with Michael Davis. At Davis & Company, Paul and Michael led the firm to its position as an innovator and major force in the then-developing U.S. wine auction industry.
In 1998, the nimble and forward-looking auction house was acquired by publicly-held Sotheby’s. As Senior Vice-President and Co-Head of Sotheby’s North American Wine Department, Paul managed the Chicago Wine Department for Sotheby’s, which served as a center for the firm’s wine operations. He also became a prominent auctioneer, taking the gavel in both Chicago and New York sale rooms. He presided over the sale of many important collections, with his signature personal, thorough and fast-paced style. Today at Hart Davis Hart, Paul’s operational, financial and technological acumen make him the natural choice to serve as the “backbone” of the firm.
Paul has taken the firm beyond its base in Chicago to become an international market leader. He has brought HDH to many new markets and regularly hosts events in Hong Kong, Beijing, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Taiwan. Paul has overseen the sale of many of the world’s most important wine collections, including the Verlin Collection ($9 million) and The Fox Cellar ($16 million). In addition, HDH is a leading international force in the wine retail market, including the Bordeaux futures market, and maintains the industry leading website hdhauction.com. HDH retail saw a remarkable 50% growth in sale in 2012.
Since 1993, Paul has also conducted charity auctions throughout the country in support of the arts and various medical foundations. He is proud to be a longtime supporter of the Triangle Wine Experience and the Frankie Lemmon School.