A Copia Icon Lives On

Napa’s Copia Center is long shuttered, but the statue of André Tchelistcheff that stood at its door may soon find a new home

A life-size statue of André Tchelistcheff may be on the market. If I had a $1 million, I’d bid on it. Seriously.

It could be auctioned as part of the liquidation of the bankrupt Copia, which begins with sales at the American Center for Wine, Food and the Arts’ gift shop this weekend and culminates in two days of auctions April 20 and 21. It will be an estate sale of unparalleled scope and value, at least here in Napa.

I consider Mr. T perhaps the most influential man in Napa Valley history, right up there alongside Robert Mondavi. Though André the Great has been dead for two decades, winemakers still speak of him in reverential terms. One could write a book about his contributions to wine. But today I’ll just mention a few of the ways Tchelistcheff stood out.