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Hospices de Beaune clinches record total for Sotheby’s Wine Auction

Published:  21 November, 2022

The 162nd Hospices De Beaune wine auction has reached a new, impressive milestone, with sales of €31 million ($32 million) making it the highest ever wine lot for one of the world’s top auction houses.

The auction, which took place in the saleroom at the Halles de Beaune yesterday, established a record total for any wine auction held by Sotheby’s.

The event also reached the highest ever total for a charity wine auction, with this year’s Pièce des Présidents (Presidents’ Barrel) selling for a record €810,000, which was jointly purchased by a number of individual wine négociants.

Jamie Ritchie, worldwide chairman, Sotheby’s Wine & Spirits, paid tribute to “the exceptional quality of the Hospices de Beaune wines produced by Ludivine Griveau and her team”, which will also raise “an extraordinary amount of money for charity, [and] will be used to help and support the community”.

The annual auction dates back to 1859 and has a long history of as one of the premier charity auctions in the world.

Every year since 1945, the Hospices de Beaune has donated a unique 'pièce' to support one or more charity organisations.

This year, Ludivine Griveau, manager of the Hospices de Beaune wine estate, produced a one-off Corton Grand Cru for the 2022 Pièce des Présidents from a blend of three of the Domaine des Hospices de Beaune’s top terroirs: Corton Renardes, Corton Bressandes and Corton Chaumes.

In what is being called ‘an exceptional show of solidarity’, a number of individual wine négociants, made up of Badet Clément, Albert Bichot, Groupe Boisset, Bouchard Père et Fils, Champy, Chanson, Joseph Drouhin, Faiveley, Louis Jadot, Olivier Leflaive, Patriarche and Veuve Ambal, jointly acquired the Corton Grand Cru.

Around 700 attendees witnessed yesterday’s sale, which took place over seven hours, with collectors bidding from 30 countries.

Proceeds from the sale of the charity barrel will benefit two organisations: the Princesse Margot association, which supports children with cancer; and the World Vision organisation, whose mission is to help vulnerable children.

The charity pièce also paid tribute to the late Louis-Fabrice Latour, the head of Burgundy négociant Maison Louis Latour, a leading figure in Burgundy and loyal supporter of the annual auction, who sadly passed away in September. The wine will continue to mature in a special 228-litre barrel made by the Maison Latour cooperage, in collaboration with the Hospices de Beaune.

François Poher, director and chairman of the Board of Hospices Civils de Beaune, said: “The historic and spectacular results of this sale are a tribute to many people: our winemakers and entire team at the Domaine des Hospices de Beaune, our hospital workers who selflessly carry on with their mission, our founders and donors, and all the Burgundians who support their land, their traditions, but above all, their values of hospitality and fraternity. The new record achieved for the Pièce des Présidents to benefit children’s causes is the best expression of this.”

Amayès Aouli, head of Sotheby’s Wine, Europe, added: “This 162nd edition of the Hospices de Beaune Wine auction was an extremely rewarding collaboration between Sotheby’s and the team at the Hospices de Beaune, with the incredible support of all the négociants and individuals who participated.

“Our international wine specialists were joined in Beaune by colleagues from Sotheby’s France to host the world’s most renowned charity auction. Our Continental European wine sales continue to show rapid growth with two sales closing in the next two weeks, with Beaune as a key centre of our operations.”