154th Hospices de Beaune Wine Auction Record 8 Million Euros
The oldest charity auction in the world raised 8,082,525€ on 16 November. “125 buyers from 17 countries competed fiercely on the 47 cuvees offered to realize the best sale since 1859. Numerous records were broken today” said Anthony Hanson MW of Christie’s.
Since 1978 the Hospices has donated a special barrel every year for charity - this year Corton-Bressandes Grand Cru. Honorary Presidents have been invited since 1945. Descending from the towers along the balcony of the Hotel Dieu, like Rapunzel in a medieval fairy tale, the model Adriana Karembeu was escorted by fellow presidents judo world champion Teddy Riner and television presenter Michel Drucker, into the hall.
Bidding for the President’s Pièce started at 2000€, racing quickly to 100,000€, the gavel took ten minutes to fall at 220,000€. The negotiant Maison Albert Bichot won on behalf of a group of six Canadian friends. The money will be shared between the presidents’ charities – the Imagine Foundation for genetic disease research and Toutes à l’école Foundation to educate young girls in Cambodia.
Antoine Jacquet, Director of the Hospices de Beaune said “we are very proud that a new record has been established, for the third consecutive year.” The average barrel price barrel was 13,750€, with 417 barrels of red (+3.37%) and 117 of white (+14.57%) from 33 red and 14 white cuvees – a 20% volume increase from 2013. Grand Cru whites increased 25% and Grand Cru reds 5.5%. Bâtard-Montrachet Dames de Flandres set a 70,620€ record, and Clos de la Roche - Cuvée Cyrot-Chaudron 74,900€ broke the record for any barrel sold.
The results are removed from commercial reality. The Burgundy Union of Negotiants and Burgundy Interprofession hoped, and Alberic Bichot predicted, that this sale would stabilize prices and send a signal to the market. The average bottle price has risen from 16€ to 43.5€ in ten years since Christie’s has organised the auction. Anthony Hanson defended questions about speculation observing that “people don’t buy to make commerce but the motivation is to buy for charity … and to drink it!”