The much anticipated President’s Barrel was sold for close to US$1 million at the annual Hospices de Beaune auction on November 20, setting a new record, as the 162nd edition of the charity sale itself shattered previous records to bring in €31 million (US$32 million).
A new record price was established for the Pièce des Présidents (President’s Barrel) in the annual Hospices de Beaune charity wine sale – the world’s most famous wine auction – when it was sold for €810,000 on Sunday.
In a packed saleroom at the Halles de Beaune, with an audience of 700 attendees, the sale of the 162nd edition of the Hospices de Beaune wine auction brought €31 million (US$32 million), establishing a record total for any wine auction held by Sotheby’s, and the highest ever total for a charity wine auction – more than double the previous record high for a Hospices de Beaune wine sale, according to Sotheby’s.
A number of individual wine négociants – 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 exceptional Corton Grand Cru.
The négociants said: “We are very happy to be here today, alongside the Maison Louis Latour, to acquire this very special Pièce des Présidents. It is an opportunity for us to help Princesse Margot and World Vision, but also to pay tribute to our late colleague Louis-Fabrice Latour, who was always a great champion of Burgundy”.
Every year since 1945, the Hospices de Beaune has donated a unique “pièce” to support one or more charity organizations. This year, the charity barrel was sold to benefit two organizations – the Princesses Margot association, which supports children with cancer, and the World Vision organization, whose mission is to help vulnerable children.
Ludivine Griveau, Manager of the Hospices de Beaune wine estate, produced a one-off Corton Grand Cru for this year’s Pièce des Présidents from a blend of three of the Domaine des Hospices de Beaune’s most beautiful terroirs: Corton Renardes, Corton Bressandes and Corton Chaume.
French journalist and writer, Flavie Flament, and French actor Benoît Magimel, both took to the rostrum and the aisles of the saleroom to rally even more excitement among the audience for the highly anticipated lot. Over the course of a memorable 20-minute bidding battle, the audience erupted into applause several times as the figure rose ever higher. The entire proceeds of €810,000 will be donated to the two designated organizations.
The wine and its barrel paid tribute to the late Louis-Fabrice Latour, the head of Burgundy négociant Maison Louis Latour, and 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.
The 162nd edition of the world’s oldest charity wine auction – established in 1859 – is currently offering an additional 51 different cuvées of the 2022 vintage, produced from vineyards across the Hospices de Beaune’s 60-hectare holdings, now in its second year of organic conversion. The 802 lots comprise 620 barrels of red wines and 182 barrels of white wines, and the sale will close with an additional 17 barrels of eaux de vie crafted with the marcs (the solid remains of grapes) from the 2022 harvest.
In keeping with its founding values, all proceeds from the annual sale continue to support the upkeep of the Hospices de Civils de Beaune’s hospitals.