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Burgundy winemaker Roland Masse set for last Hospice de Beaune before handing over to first female manager

Published:  14 November, 2014

Burgundy winemaker, Roland Masse, will see his last vintage put up for auction at this weekend's Hospice de Beaune before he passes on the responsibility to Ludivine Griveau, the first woman to look after the domain in its history.

Masse, who is now 61, will see his 15th vintage from the Domaine des Hospices de Beaune take part in this weekend's event which will see some 534 barrels put up for auction.

It will do well to beat last year's record winning performance which saw sales of £5.3m despite having the smallest volume of wine on sale for three decades.

The 2014 auction will be the 154th and will see 47 cuvees go under the hammer including 33 red and 14 white. Of the 534 barrels being auctioned 417 will be red and 117 white.

Masse said the 2013 vintage has been the most challenging of all his years in Burgundy and that staff had "never worked so hard" to select high quality grapes, following difficult weather conditions. He is more optimistic about the 2014 vintage, even though hail once again plagued vineyards in the Côte de Beaune.

His preliminary assessment of the wines that will be tasted this weekend by the trade and wine media is overall quite positive. He said that grands crus of Montrachet, Corton and the Côte de Nuits were spared by the hailstorm between Meursault and Beaune on June 28.

White wines were harvested in mid-September in ideal weather conditions and "seem very precise and with great freshness", he told

He praised the grands cru reds as being at "a very good level, with lovely bright colour, fine tannins, creamy harmony and balance, length and complexity in their elegance."

Ludivine Griveau, who at the age of 36 becomes the first woman to take over managing the Domaine des Hospices de Beaune, has been working since 2004 at Maison Corton André in Aloxe-Corton. She will replace Masse in January 2015.

  • You can read a fuller interview with Masse in our People section as he looks back on the last 15 vintages.