Hospices de Beaune | Wine Auction
Very few have the privilege to experience this centuries’ old wine auction tradition.
The Hospices de Beaune is perhaps the most famous of all wine auctions, with a centuries-long history, beginning in 1443, when the iconic polychromatic-tiled Hôtel-Dieu in central Beaune was built to tend the sick. Over the years, the charitable cause was given vineyards among other donations; today its holding of vines is a glorious 60 hectares.
Lot after lot, every year the Domaine des Hospices’ 50 wines are sold and acquired by lovers of fine Burgundy wines from around the world. The annual auction ritual as we know it today began in 1859 to raise funds for the hospital, and forms the centrepiece of celebrations in Burgundy over the third weekend of November. The proceeds benefit the hospital and other good causes.
The 50 Hospices de Beaune wines from the current vintage put up for auction are sold ‘en primeur’ (as futures). At the auction, the nascent wine has only just been vinified by Ludivine Griveau in the Domaine des Hospices winery. It is a very young, embroynic wine, too young to have delivered all its complexity, but full of the promise of future excitement and potential. Griveau is the first female winemaker in the 473 year viticultural history of the Hospices de Beaune estate, and her wines are hailed as the best ever made at the Hospices.
POMMARD CUVEE RAYMOND CRYOT 2020, EN PRIMEUR, READY FOR DELIVERY IN 2O22
Tasting and selecting the Hospices de Beaune wines ‘en primeur’: a very difficult exercise, carried out before the auction, in which experience and expertise are of prime importance
Les Charmots 1er Cru,
Les Bertins 1er Cru,
Les Vaumuriens bas, La Vache,
Les Rugiens bas 1er Cru.
STORY OF THE CUVÉE
Monsieur and Madame Cyrot-Chaudron left their vineyards to the Hospices de Beaune in 1979. The gift included several plots of ancient vines, which were in perfect condition, yielding small quantities of fine fruit, and many of these have been retained. The Premier Cru vines are situated in Les Charmots, Bertins and Rugiens bas.
The 50 Hospices de Beaune wines put up for auction are sold ‘en primeur’ (as futures). It is always the current year’s vintage that is put up for auction. During the auction on the third Sunday in November, the wine has only just been vinified by Ludivine Griveau in the Domaine des Hospices winery. It is therefore a very young wine, too young of course to have delivered all its complexity and potential.
The ageing stage lasts between 12 to 18 months before bottling and shipping. The ageing of the Hospices wines, like all Burgundy wine, is a vital step, a combination of savoir-faire, technical work and experience. Picture your very own, exclusively labelled, bottles of Burgundy. A taste of the past, and a glimpse of the future.