Fritz Hatton, Auctioneer Extraordinaire
Fritz Hatton and his immediate family own Arietta, one of Napa’s top producers of Bordeaux-style blended wines. He is also the nation’s most experienced wine auctioneer, having begun his career in Christie’s Wine Department in 1980. After a twelve year management career for Christie’s in North America and the Far East, Fritz took a musical sabbatical on the West Coast in the early 1990s, and conducted his first auction for the Napa Valley Vintners in 1992. Out of his musical and wine country experiences with his winemaker friend John Kongsgaard emerged a wine brand with a musically inspired name: Arietta. In 1995 Fritz returned to Christie’s as Director of Christie’s U.S. Wine Auction Department, and remained until he returned to California in 1998 to launch Arietta with his wife Caren. He remained with Christie’s as Consultant and Principal Wine Auctioneer, before joining Zachys Wine Auctions in 2002. He continues to conduct all commercial wine auctions for Zachys, as well as numerous charity wine auctions nationwide, in addition to overseeing the production and sales of Arietta.
Fritz and Caren Hatton reside in Napa, California with their two daughters, Libby and Hattie. A native of Michigan, Fritz is a graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy and a summa cum laude graduate of Yale with a degree in English Literature. He returned to Yale as one of the first students to enroll in the new Yale School of Organization and Management, from which he received an M.B.A. in 1979. Apart from family and wine, his major interest is classical music, and he is just as happy playing the piano as he is encouraging bidders to turn cash into collectible wine.