To Offer 753 Barrels from all 51 Cuvées Produced from the 2023 Harvest
Sale of Unique ‘Presidents’ Barrel’ of Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru to Benefit the Fondation pour la Recherche Médicale (FRM) & the Initiative de Recherche pour une Longévité en Bonne Santé (IRLB)
PARIS & BEAUNE – The 163 rd edition of the annual Hospices de Beaune wine sale on Sunday, 19 November will present a total of 51 different cuvées of the 2023 vintage produced from vineyards across the Hospices’ 60-hectare holdings, now in its third and final year of organic conversion. These 51 cuvées will be divided into 753 lots: 574 barrels of red wines and 179 barrels of white wines. With the addition of the unique Presidents’ Barrel and 16 barrels of eaux de vie, this year’s sale comprises 770 barrels in total.
Sotheby’s is working with the Hospices de Beaune, in preparation for the 163rd edition, for the third consecutive year. Funds raised from the sale will be used to finance major new structural projects in 2024. These include the construction of a new hospital building to replace the first building of the modern era which dates to 1971 (due to open in four years), the rebuilding of the hospital in Seurre, the renewal of hospital equipment with cutting edge technology, and a modernisation of the winery.
Earlier this year, the Hospices Civils de Beaune pledged its commitment to support the issue of healthy ageing, in response to a concern about this public health priority. The proceeds from the sale of the special Charity barrel, also known as the Pièce des Présidents (Presidents’ Barrel), will be sold in aid of the Fondation pour la Recherche Médicale (FRM) and the Initiative de Recherche pour une Longévité en Bonne Santé (IRLB) – both of which are dedicated to maintaining life expectancy in good health for all. Distinguishing this year’s Charity barrel is not only the wine within – a Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru – but also the material with which it was made: the wood of an oak tree used to restore the spire of Notre Dame in Paris.
After the devastating fire of Notre Dame in April 2019, the d’Harcourt family donated 10 prestigious trees for the restoration of the nave and spire of the cathedral from the Vibraye forest, their privately owned forest located in north-western France. Among these 220-year-old trees – the wood of which exactly matches the original source material used for Notre Dame – one fortuitously measured 19 meters, in excess of the 15.5 meters needed for the current restoration. Bernard d’Harcourt decided to donate this remaining volume of wood to the Hospices de Beaune specifically for the charity wine auction. The oak was entrusted to Barraud’s cooperage, a small artisanal business located in Charente, which is celebrating its 40th year in the cooperage industry, for splitting into staves. The resulting staves were subsequently given to the Hospices de Beaune and the crafting of the barrel was carried out in the heart of Burgundy by Tonnellerie Cadus.
For the Presidents’ Barrel – the star lot of the auction – the Hospices de Beaune has selected Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru, Cuvée Madeleine Collignon, produced from the magnificent Grand Cru parcel which was donated to the Hospices in 1976 by Jean Collignon and named in memory of his mother. Dense, with silky, elegant tannins, the wine promises a guarantee of good longevity.
Marie-Anne Ginoux, Managing Director, Sotheby’s France, said:
“This is our third year selling alongside the Hospices de Beaune and our team at Sotheby’s is working with even greater passion and pride to contribute to the renewed success of this exceptional sale. The bar has been set very high with the record result of 2022, an exceptional total of €32m that testifies both to the excellent quality of the wines produced by Ludivine Griveau and her team and to the worldwide demand for high-quality Burgundy wines. For the past three years, the sale has been a clear priority for us. It is essential to support the Hospices Civils de Beaune, a cause that we in turn are privileged to support.”
Guillaume Koch, Director and Chairman of the Board of Hospices Civils de Beaune, said:
“Like the vast majority of French public hospitals, we are facing a number of challenges, including a shortage of medical and nursing staff, and outdated equipment and buildings. Previous sales, including the highly successful sale in 2022, have already enabled us to modernise the hospital, improve reception and working conditions and plan major investments. The new projects are major and structural. As with every year, the Hospices de Beaune is promoting a cause. This year it’s about ageing well. Establishments such as ours are faced with an ageing population and an increasingly heavy burden of care for the elderly. Now more than ever, we need the continued generosity of our benefactors to help us improve the way we care for people, through better reception, more and better-staffed clinics and fundamental research.”
Ludivine Griveau, Manager of the Hospices de Beaune wine estate, said:
“The 60-hectare estate is now in its third and final year of organic conversion, with a view to obtaining the organic label for the Hospices de Beaune wines which will leave the winery in 2024. The 2023 harvest was meticulously sorted both in the vineyards and in the winery to ensure that the quality of the grapes met the estate’s high standards. The focus was firmly on quality rather than quantity. The whites reveal aromas of fresh white fruit, are each firmly rooted in their respective terroirs and are very powerful on the palate. Their texture reveals a fine balance with good acidity. The Pinot Noir grapes that arrived in the vats were superb and the result of a drastic selection process. They quickly released their intense ruby colours and aromas of fresh fruit. With gentle, gradual extractions over eighteen to twenty-five days, depending on the cuvée, the tannins are coated and smooth. The red wines are structured but not excessive. The finish is very fruity, with textures conducive to a fairly long ageing period.”
About Hospices Civils de Beaune
The history of the Hospices Civils de Beaune began in 1443 when Nicolas Rolin and Guigone de Salins decided to build a hospital: the Hôtel-Dieu. The founders’ charity and patronage established a tradition that has enabled the Hospices de Beaune to survive throughout history in exceptional conditions. Today, the Hospices Civils de Beaune comprises the hospital centres of Beaune, Arnay-le-Duc, Seurre and Nuits-St-Georges. The Philippe Le Bon Hospital in Beaune is the support facility for the Groupement Hospitalier de Territoire du Sud Côte-d’Or.
The originality of this hospital institution lies in the size and nature of its assets, which include, on the one hand, a historic monument, the 15th-century Hôtel-Dieu, which has not welcomed patients or elderly residents since the early 1980s; and, on the other hand, a prestigious 60-hectare Beaune wine-growing estate of the best Burgundy appellations. All these vineyards come from bequests and donations, and their production is auctioned every year on the 3rd Sunday in November, as part of the world’s most famous charity sale. Thanks to its heritage, this hospital plays a leading role in the two major activities of Beaune and its region: tourism and wine.
The auction, which can include more than 500 lots, is the most famous and oldest charity wine auction in the world (1859). True to its founding values, each year the Hospices de Beaune supports a charity by donating the profits from the sale of a piece of wine, known as the “Pièce du Président”. Proceeds from the sale of this wine are ear-marked for the upkeep of the hospital’s heritage and the modernisation of its equipment and buildings.
About the Foundation for Medical Research
Founded in 1947 by the brothers of modern French medicine, Jean Bernard and Jean Hamburger, the Fondation pour la Recherche Médicale helps to improve life expectancy in good health for everyone, by encouraging and funding the best French medical research projects that are innovative and bring progress for all. Profits from the “Pièce de Charité” will be dedicated to research into the essential issues of good ageing. In 2023, the Fondation pour la Recherche Médicale is continuing its work on neurodegenerative diseases and is launching a new call for projects. This support will enable teams of excellence to propose an innovative research programme, exploring new approaches aimed at beter understanding the mechanisms of these complex diseases and identifying therapeutic solutions.
About the Initiative for Research on Healthy Longevity
The aim of the IRLB association is to support research programmes that could lead to an improvement in human longevity in good health. Its Scientific Director, Jean-Marc Lemaitre, and his research team have been developing projects targeting this objective since 2006. The association was created to support his ambition to set up an Institute for Healthy Longevity, based on three pillars: assessment, prevention and treatment of ageing, in order to delay or even eliminate age-related pathologies.
About Sotheby’s Wine
Established in 1744, Sotheby’s is the world’s premier destination for art and luxury. Sotheby’s promotes access to and ownership of exceptional art and luxury objects through auctions and buy-now channels including private sales, e-commerce and retail. Our trusted global marketplace is supported by an industry-leading technology platform and a network of specialists spanning 40 countries and 70 categories which include Contemporary Art, Modern and Impressionist Art, Old Masters, Chinese Works of Art, Jewelry, Watches, Wine and Spirits, and Design, as well as collectible cars and real estate. Sotheby’s believes in the transformative power of art and culture and is committed to making our industries more inclusive, sustainable and collaborative.
Sotheby’s Wine’s annual worldwide auction sales of wine and spirits achieved a record total of $158 million in 2022, a 20% increase from 2021. Sotheby’s currently holds the world records for any whisky collection ever sold at auction, any private wine collection ever sold at auction, the most valuable bottle of wine ever sold at auction and the most valuable bottle of spirits ever sold at auction, in addition to the highest ever total for a charity wine auction.
In addition to auction, Sotheby’s Wine launched a retail business in 2010. With a retail store located in Sotheby’s New York headquarters and e-commerce at www.sothebyswine.com, Sotheby’s Wine offers a carefully curated selection of wines from the world’s most prestigious producers and important regions. Expertly assembled by our experienced specialists, the selection is built upon lasting relationships with winemakers from across the globe, with bottles that are ready for immediate consumption, in addition to investment-worthy wines from highly sought-after vintages. A second retail location opened in Sotheby’s Hong Kong galleries in 2014.
*The full offering will be listed on sothebys.com (here), where the auction will also be livestreamed at 2.30pm CET on 19 November