This year’s Hospices ‘President’s Barrel’ to raise money for hospital workers

The ‘Pièce de Présidents’ barrel offered at this year’s Hospices de Beaune auction will raise funds for frontline hospital workers in France, with the wood for the barrel itself being supplied from a unique source.

The 160th Hospices auction will take place on Sunday 15 November. It is customary that each year one special barrel (known as the Pièce de Présidents or ‘President’s Barrel’)  is sold to raise funds for charitable causes.

This year proceeds from the sale of the barrel will go support the French Hospital Federation (FHF) and Committee for Social Work Management in Public Hospitals (CGOS), who represent French medical staff and care workers.

The wine for this year’s charity barrel will be from the climat of ‘Les Froichots’ in the grand cru vineyard of Clos de la Roche.

Uniquely, the wine will be aged in wood supplied by the forest of Domaine de Chambord in the Loire Valley.

A grand cru oak forest, less than 150 kilometres from the prestigious oak forests of Loches, Bercé and Tronçais which are particularly renowned for their barrel making qualities, the Chambord estate forest is hoping to rebuild the renown of its own forest and lumber and rebuild links with the wine industry as a producer of exceptional barrels.

The buyer of the charity barrel will also have the option of having the wine kept in the cellars of the Hospices de Beaune under the care of its cellar master Ludivine Griveau.

Chambord, famous as one of the Loire’s most beautiful châteaux, is surrounded by a huge forest and grounds, 5,440 hectares in total, all fully enclosed within a 32km-long wall making it the largest walled park in Europe.

It was classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1981.

The Hospices de Beaune functioned as a hospital from its founding in 1443 right up to 1971 when a modern hospital, named Philippe le Bon after one of Burgundy’s famous Valois dukes, was built.

It is the administrative centre for the Southern Côte d’Or Hospital Group and the Hopsices Civils de Beaune comprises the health authorities of Beaune, Arnay-le-Duc, Seurre and Nuits-St-Georges.

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