Hospice de Beaune auction history

Hospice de Beaune (Hospice de Beaune) is the oldest hospital in Beaune, located in the heart of the Burgundian capital. The construction of the building dates back to 1443-1451. The hospital was founded by Nicolas Rolen, tax collector and adviser to the Duke of Burgundy Philip the Good, and his wife Guigon de Salen. They allocated vineyards so that the funds received from the sale of the harvest could support the shelter, or Hôtel-Dieu. Over the following centuries, other Burgundians also bequeathed their vineyards to Hospice, so that now they stretch from Gevrey-Chambertin in the north to the southern vineyards at Pouilly-Fuisse, and their area exceeds 60 hectares. Initially, according to the ex-manager of the Domaine des Hospices de Beaune Roland Mass, the land was donated in the hope of “a warm place in paradise, but later this increasingly happened due to the lack of children, for the sake of tax benefits, and partly to leave behind a living monument on labels ”. Traditionally, the names of the wines are named after the donors of the vineyards.

The hospital has long been moved from the historical center of the city, and a museum has been created in its place. The building is decorated with a bright mosaic roof, which has become the hallmark of not only Beaune, but the entire wine-making Burgundy. It is curious that the symbol of Burgundy in the form of multi-colored tiles appeared much later than the building itself – only at the beginning of the twentieth century.

Since 1859, Hospice de Beaune wines have been exhibited annually at a charity auction, and the proceeds from their sale go to the needs of the hospital. Now it is organized by the famous British house Christie’s. The auction itself takes place on the third Sunday in November, this is a very important event for the entire region and the wine world in general. The auctions are broadcast on the festive square, where a large number of tourists and townspeople gather. Previously, only Burgundians could participate in the auction, these were mainly merchant companies that bought barrels, then bottled wines and glued labels with their name. Since 2005, the rules have been simplified and anyone (even an individual!) Can apply to participate. In the case of a foreign buyer, it is also necessary to conclude an agreement with a local company, which will carry out the aging and bottling of the wine in the territory of Burgundy. Already pour the wine into barrels of the required age in order to create the wine of the desired style at its discretion. On average, wines are aged for 12-16 months.

Making wine

The vineyards owned by Hospice de Beaune employ 23 winegrowers annually. As you can easily calculate, each of them accounts for two and a half hectares, which allows you to provide maximum care for the vines. For the production of wine, on average, grapes are used from vines over 30 years old. Harvested by hand, and each wine from a specific area is fermented separately in its own fermentation tank. Then the wines are poured into new oak barrels, in which they will later be sold at auction to new owners. The attitude towards the choice of barrels is very serious. A tender is regularly announced for the best cooper firm, which can provide barrels of light roasting, so as not to spoil the wine with a pronounced taste of oak. The new owners of barrels then have the right to pour the wine into barrels of the required age, in order to create the wine of the desired style at their discretion. On average, wines are aged for 12-16 months.

Hospice de Beaune issues special labels on which the name of the estate where the wine was matured must be indicated. For reference: the capacity of one Pièce Burgundy barrel is equivalent to 288 standard 0.75 liter bottles.

About Les Peuillets vineyard

The name of the vineyard comes from the name of the trees, since this slope was once planted with forest. Arthur Girard bequeathed his vineyards to Hôtel-Dieu in 1936, located in the village of Savigny-Lès-Beaune. Among the land donated was a one hectare site located in a separate vineyard Les Peuillets (16.17 hectares), which in turn is classified as Premier Cru.

The vineyard is located near Beaune, the soil is mostly sandy, which provides good drainage, so the wines are quite refined due to the dry soils. By their style, the wines from this vineyard are moderately full-bodied, with a bright tannin structure.

We will be able to judge how the wine of 2017 will turn out only in a year.