Every Autumn the most famous wine auction in the world is hosted by the Hospices de Beaune raising €millions in support of important causes from international buyers. This year’s auction took place over the 18th– 20th November and the funds raised have been published at €14.2million (£12.6million), beating 2017’s record-breaking total €13.5million.
The Hospices de Beaune was originally established as a charitable alms house in 1443 by Nicolas Rolin, Chancellor to Philip III, Duke of Burgundy, and his third wife Guigone de Salins. The first auction of wines was held at the 15thCentury Hospices building, the Hotel Dieu de Beaune, in 1859. Today, all profits go to supporting the upkeep of the Hospices and its charitable work, which is strongly focused on the hospitals in the region. This year’s proceeds are being donated to the Institut Pasteur, an international biomedical research centre, and Asmae Association Soeur Emanuelle, which educates and protects vulnerable children around the world.
828 barrels were sold en primeur at an average €16,850 and the general excitement over this year’s vintage is thought to have influenced the values raised. A barrel of Batard Montrachet Grand Cru set a new Hospices auction single barrel record at €135,000. The ‘Piece des Presidents’ highlight item comprising a barrel of Corton Grand Cru Clos du Roi and a second of Mersault Premier Cru Les Genevriere, raised €230,000 which was disappointingly lower than last year’s (€420,000).
69% of the lots were sold to trade merchants and the remainder to private individuals from around the world. Asian-based bidders were responsible for 55% of the value of wines acquired, 7% went to US buyers and the remainder to those resident in Europe.
The famous Californian Napa Valley auction was modelled on the Hospices de Beaune and launched in 1981 by growers in the region. This summer’s 38thNapa Valley Auction raised US$13.6million for local community charities. The leading lot of this sale was four Imperials of Opus One (plus 2 tickets for the Masked Ball of Versailles) raising US$1.4million.
These charitable auctions set a great example for the industry to use our resources to support important causes. We are also pleased to have helped raise nearly £40,000 in support of Lawrence Dallaglio’s RugbyWorks, the Professional Cricketers Association and Momentum Children’s Charity in the last year, and we are also sponsoring an auction with Lloyds Wealth Investment in aid of Mental Health UK later this month. For more information on our involvement with these charities contact Katie Souter on 0203 384 2260.