Budget cuts force Dijon to sell wine collection29th January, 2013 by Gabriel Savage
The Socialist mayor of Dijon has raised €151,620 for city coffers by selling off 3,500 bottles from the municipal wine cellar.
According to Infos-Dijon, the auction on Sunday attracted an international crowd of hundreds of people to the city’s town hall, a former palace of the Dukes of Burgundy.
With half of the city’s 7,000-bottle wine cellar going under the hammer, lots were available for at little as €5. Although the city’s collection consisted almost entirely of Burgundy, a number of bottles of Jura wine were also up for sale.
While the oldest wine on sale dated back to 1959, the top lot was a bottle of Henri Jayer’s Vosne-Romanée Cros Parantoux 1999, which sold for €4,800 – over four times its €1,000 reserve – to a Chinese buyer named by the website as Wang Dongming.
The funds raised from this auction will be used to augment Dijon City Council’s budget at a time when François Hollande’s Government is imposing cuts on regional authorities in a bid to slash spending by €60 billion by 2017.
However, Dijon’s mayor François Rebsamen promised: “We will keep back 10% of the money raised to restock the cellar.”