The Hospices de Beaune auction is the oldest charity wine auction in the world. Merchants and wine lovers bid for whole barrels of wine, including the so-called Pièce des Présidents, whose sale proceeds are dedicated to a different charity each year.
On November 21, the foundation held its 161st sale in Burgundy's wine capital of Beanue, attended by 700 people. The auction brought in a total of €12.6 million/US$15.3 million, far surpassing the pre-sale estimate of €5.2–7.8 million/US$5.9–8.8 million. All of the 362 lots were sold, with every lot selling for a price above its high estimate, Hospices de Beaune said.
With the addition of the Pièce des Présidents, which sold for a record €800,000/US$900,000, the grand total raised for charity was €13.5 million/US$15.3 million.
Results surpassed expectations
“While this was the smallest number of lots offered in over forty years, the results achieved were well beyond our highest expectations, with only 362 lots achieving an average increase of 85% per cuvée, said the worldwide head of Sotheby’s wine Jamie Ritchie.
“Demand for Burgundy has been steadily increasing and this, combined with the exceptional quality of the wines produced by Ludivine Griveau and her team, and the small size of the vintage, led to vibrant bidding, with collectors enthusiastically shouting out bids from the floor of the saleroom.”
The proceeds from the sale and future sales will allow for the €70 million reconstruction of the Philippe Le Bon Hospital in Beaune to be completed, and for the purchase of a new mammography machine. Funds will also support the Hôtel Dieu museum project, which has been delayed by the Covid pandemic.
The Hospices de Beaune charitable foundation, which dates back to 1483, runs its own wine estate which over the centuries has been endowed with numerous vineyards across the Côte d’Or. It had to move its sale last year to December and it was a much smaller affair than the usual event which draws visitors from across the globe.
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