Sotheby’s is delighted to present the 161st Hospices de Beaune Wine Auction, to be held at the Halles de Beaune on 21 November 2021. Taking place, as is tradition, on the third Sunday in November, this is the world’s oldest charity auction and most renowned wine auction.
The World’s Oldest and Most Renowned Charity Wine Auction
The history of the Hospices Civils de Beaune began in 1443 with the wish of Nicolas Rolin and Guigone de Salins to build a hospital: the Hôtel-Dieu. The founders’ charitable endeavour and act of patronage instituted a tradition that has allowed the Hospices de Beaune to flourish throughout history under exceptional conditions. Today, the Hospices Civils de Beaune includes the hospital centres of Beaune, Arnay-le-Duc, Seurre and Nuits-St-Georges. The Philippe Le Bon Hospital in Beaune is the support establishment of the Groupement Hospitalier de Territoire du Sud Côte-d'Or.
The uniqueness of this hospital institution lies in the importance and the nature of its patrimony, which consists on the one hand of a historical monument, the 15th-century Hôtel-Dieu, which no longer accommodates patients or elderly residents since the beginning of the 1980s; and on the other hand of a prestigious vineyard in Beaune of 60 hectares of the best Burgundy appellations. All of these vineyards come from bequests and donations, and their production is sold each year at auction on the third Sunday of November, as part of the most famous charity sale in the world. Thus, through its heritage, this hospital institution plays a leading role in the two major activities of Beaune and its region: tourism and wine.
The auction, which can include more than 500 lots, is the most famous and oldest charity wine auction in the world (established in 1859). In keeping with its founding values, each year the Hospices de Beaune supports a charity by donating the profits from the sale of a pièce of wine, known as the “President's Pièce”. The proceeds from the sale of the wines are used to maintain the hospital’s heritage and to modernise its equipment and buildings