The most famous charity auction in the world
Côte de Beaune and Côte de Nuits
The majority of its plots are situated in prestigious appellation, Premier Cru, and exceptional Grand Cru areas
The climate has a continental influence: hot summers and dry autumns allow the grapes to ripen in ideal conditions. These climatic conditions encourage the development of sugars and the substances that give the grapes their colour.
Foundation of the Hospices de Beaune in 1443 by Nicolas Rolin, Chancellor to the Duke of Bourgogne, and his wife, Guigone de Salins, to provide succour to the poor and the sick. Today, the Hospices are the owners of a highly regarded wine estate thanks to donations and inheritances from wealthy Lords in the Middle Ages and five hundred years of judicious management of their assets. The Hôtel-Dieu is a prime example of mediaeval architecture in Bourgogne and one of the most visited tourist attractions in France, with 400,000 visitors a year. Today, it is the very symbol of the town of Beaune and the influence of wine growing Bourgogne throughout the world.
The first auction at the Hospices de Beaune was held in 1859. Over time, it has become one of the most celebrated charity events in the world and is keenly anticipated by the wine trade. The funds collected during the sale are earmarked for the charitable works of the Hospices de Beaune. They are invested in a number of projects: improving health care facilities and modernising the hospital's infrastructure, conserving historical monuments such as the Hôtel-Dieu in Beaune, etc.
Date and festivities
The auction is traditionally held on the third Sunday in November. This fixed date has become a sort of annual pilgrimage for the wine trade. The festivities that accompany the famous Auction of the Wines of the Hospices de Beaune are known by the name of "Les Trois Glorieuses". The gala dinner at the "Chapitre de la Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin" at the Clos de Vougeot gets the ball rolling on the Saturday evening. Then comes the famous Auction proper on the Sunday afternoon. The festivities draw to a close at lunchtime on the Monday with La Paulée de Meursault, a meal that brings together several hundred people in the cellars of the Château de Meursault.
The Charity Lot (Pièce des Présidents)
Since 1945, the Hospices have offered their annual support to one or more charities, represented by celebrities, donating to the profits from the sale of the barrel of wine called the Pièce des Présidents to these charities. On the day of the sale, it is up for auction in a so-called candle auction at between 3.30 p.m. and 4.30 p.m. (approximately).
The Maison François Martenot and the Hospices de Beaune
Every year, the Maison François Martenot takes part in the Auction at the Hospices de Beaune. Our customers then have the chance to buy wine through our intermediary. Our oenologists, who are experts in Bourgogne wines, advise and assist them prior to the auction to recommend wines in line with their expectations and needs. They may also represent them during the auction. The lots acquired are then aged in our wineries for 12 to 18 months before being bottled. Our packaging is in keeping with the high quality of these extraordinary wines. The bottles are given customised labels (the name of the buyer appears on the label from the Hospices) and then sealed with wax and shipped in wooden cases.