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Sotheby’s named auction partner of the Hospices de Beaune

Sotheby’s has been named as the auction partner of the Hospices de Beaune – the world’s oldest and most renowned charity wine auction.

The 161st edition of the annual barrel auction is due to take place on 21 November at the Halles de Beaune. The auction is always held on the third Sunday in November.

François Poher, head of the Hospices de Beaune, said of the news: “After a tender procedure launched in mid-December, we have chosen Sotheby’s proposal.

“For the next five years, we will work together to deepen knowledge of our domaine, its wines and our sale for the benefit of all of Burgundy.

“We will also work to preserve the centuries-old character and heritage of our hospital institution and further strengthen its capacity to invest in the service of the people of our region.”

Mario Tavella, president of Sotheby’s France and chairman of Sotheby’s Europe, said: “Sotheby’s is proud to work alongside the Hospices de Beaune as organiser of its charity auction and also to promote the cultural initiatives that punctuate the year of this honourable institution.

“This year will mark the launch of Sotheby’s wine sales in France and we are honoured by the trust placed in us by the Hospices de Beaune and look forward to beginning our work with their team this week.”

Jamie Ritchie, Sotheby’s worldwide head of wine, described the chance to take part in the action as one of the highlights of his career.

“There is no greater honour for our international team than to organise the most famous and oldest wine auction in the world. Since 1859, this sale has set benchmark pricing for the new vintage in Burgundy, acting as an economic gauge for the region.

“We will work diligently to further promote the wines of Burgundy throughout the world, expanding on the enormous interest and market growth that already exists,” he said.

“Our entire global team looks forward to drawing even wider attention to the important work of the Hospices, as well as the very high quality of their wines, using our digital reach and innovation, as well as our relationships with many of the world’s greatest wine lovers and collectors.

“We also look forward to working with the team at the Hospices de Beaune to preserve the historic significance of those three special days in November – Les Trois Glorieuses – and enhance the auction experience for the local community, for all the visitors to Beaune, as well as for those who cannot attend in person and can participate using Sotheby’s innovative digital platform,” he added.

The history of the Hospices Civils de Beaune began in 1443 with the aim of Nicolas Rolin and Guigone de Salins to build a hospital: the Hôtel-Dieu.

The founders’ charitable endeavour instituted a tradition that has allowed the Hospices de Beaune to flourish throughout history.

Today, the Hospices Civils de Beaune includes the hospital centres of Beaune, Arnay-le-Duc, Seurre and Nuits-St-Georges.

Production from the vineyards is sold each year at auction on the third Sunday of November at the Hospices de Beaune auction, which launched in 1859.

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.

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