Budget cuts force Dijon to sell wine collection

The Socialist mayor of Dijon has raised €151,620 for city coffers by selling off 3,500 bottles from the municipal wine cellar.

Dijon's town hall, once home to the Dukes of Bourgogne

Dijon’s town hall, once home to the Dukes of Bourgogne

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.”

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