Michael Thompson, the 56-year-old founder and CEO of ITS Technical Services, an electronics manufacturing company, has spent a small fortune collecting wine. He has also generated a considerable sum by giving it away.
By his own estimate, he has personally raised in excess of $500,000 by donating wine to and purchasing wine at charity auctions. As a patron of Emeril Lagasse's Carnivale du Vin and Nashville's L'Eté du Vin and as a founding board member of the Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation, he has secured donations, recruited vintner participation and bid on or sold a variety of premium lots. Some of his major consignments have included 6-liter verticals of David Arthur Elevation, large-format California Cabernet Sauvignons from the acclaimed 1997 vintage, and verticals of Château Cos-d'Estournel from 1982 to 2000.