New Record Price for Charity Barrel at 161st Hospices de Beaune Wine Auction

Written by Staff Writer

New Record Price for Charity Barrel at 161st Hospices de Beaune Wine Auction

161st Hospices de Beaune Wine Auction Totals €12.6 Million / $14.2 Million

New Record Price for Charity Barrel: The ‘Pièce des Présidents’ 

Sold for €800,000 / $900,000, after 15-minute bidding battle animated by 

Jeanne Balibar & Pio Marmaï

Proceeds to Benefit the Fédération Nationale Solidarité Femmes & the Institut Curie

Grand Total Raised for Charity: €13.5 Million / $15.3 Million

BEAUNE, SUNDAY 21 NOVEMBER 2021 – In a full saleroom at the Halle de Beaune, with 700 attendees, today’s sale of the 161st edition of the Hospices de Beaune wine auction brought a total of €12.6 million / $15.3 million (a hammer total of €11.7 million / $13.2 million), far surpassing the pre-sale estimate of €5.2–7.8 million ($5.9–8.8 million). The 362 lots were 100% sold, with every lot selling for a price above its high estimate. With the addition of the Pièce des Présidents, which sold for a record €800,000 / $900,000, the grand total raised for charity was €13.5 million / $15.3 million. Three auctioneers conducted the sale in rotation over its six-hour duration.

The Charity barrel, also known as the Pièce des Présidents (Presidents’ barrel), led the sale, and this year the wine was selected from the prestigious Corton Renardes vineyard. Sold to benefit the Fédération Nationale Solidarité Femmes, to help in their fight against violence towards women, and the Institut Curie, to aid medical research against breast cancer, the unique single-barrel cuvée established a new record price for the Hospices de Beaune Charity barrel, eclipsing the previous record set in 2020. It was acquired in the room by Mattia Tabacco from Oeno Group, a multi-award winning Fine Wine House specialising in luxury rare wines, based in London.

The two organisations were represented respectively by French actress and film director, Jeanne Balibar, and French actor, Pio Marmaï, patrons of this year’s sale, who both took to the rostrum to drum up even more excitement for the highly anticipated lot. Bidding opened to the strains of Aretha Franklin’s ‘Respect’, and over the course of a memorable 15-minute bidding battle, the audience erupted into applause several times as the figure rose ever higher. The entire proceeds of the €800,000 sale price will be donated to the two designated organisations.

The €12.6 million raised from this year’s sale and future sales will allow for the completion of the €70 million reconstruction of the Philippe Le Bon Hospital in Beaune, and the acquisition of a new mammography machine. Funds will also support the Hôtel Dieu museum project, delayed by the pandemic.

This year’s auction, with 362 lots, achieved an average lot price of €34,980, compared to 2020, when 638 lots were sold for an average of €21,690, giving a more than 60% increase in price per lot this year. The average increase in price per white cuvée was 115% and for the reds, 56%.

François Poher, Director and Chairman of the Board of Hospices Civils de Beaune, said: “We are proud to have contributed to raising awareness about women’s rights, and their entitlement to healthcare and equality. The result of the sale exceeded our expectations. We have a great responsibility to build a new, safe and exemplary hospital.”

Mario Tavella, President, Sotheby’s France, Chairman, Sotheby’s Europe, said: “It has been an absolute honour and pleasure for us to work with the Hospices de Beaune, an institution that has been making wine and providing care for their community for hundreds of years. We are delighted the funds are going to such great causes and look forward to hosting the next auction on the third Sunday in November next year.”

Jamie Ritchie, Worldwide Head of Sotheby’s Wine, said: “This historic sale was an extremely rewarding collaboration between Sotheby’s France, our global wine team, and the team at the Hospices de Beaune, with the incredible support of all the négociants and individuals who participated. While this was the smallest number of lots offered in over forty years, the results achieved were well beyond our highest expectations, with only 362 lots achieving an average increase of 85% per cuvée. Demand for Burgundy has been steadily increasing and this, combined with the exceptional quality of the wines produced by Ludivine Griveau and her team, and the small size of the vintage, led to vibrant bidding, with collectors enthusiastically shouting out bids from the floor of the saleroom.”

Two barrels of Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru, cuvée Dames de Flandres 2021, each doubled their high estimate, selling for €248,200 / $280,420 and €221,400 / $249,940.

This year’s event marked the Hospices de Beaune’s first time partnering with Sotheby’s to organise and host the auction, which has come to represent the pinnacle of the calendar in Burgundy. Prior to the sale, 17 tastings and dinners were held in cities all over the world, from Shanghai and Mexico City, to Monaco.

Hospices Civils de Beaune 

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.

About Sotheby’s Wine

Established in 1744, Sotheby’s is the world’s premier destination for art and luxury. Sotheby’s promotes access, connoisseurship and preservation of fine art and rare objects through auctions and buy-now channels including private sales, e-commerce and retail. Our trusted global marketplace is supported by an industry-leading technology platform and a network of specialists spanning 40 countries and 50 categories, which include Contemporary Art, Modern and Impressionist Art, Old Masters, Chinese Works of Art, Jewelry, Watches, Wine and Spirits, and Interiors, among many others.

Sotheby’s Wine’s annual worldwide auction sales of wine and spirits totaled an outstanding $92 million in 2020, with over 15,000 lots sold across 41 sales – a nearly 50% increase in the number of auctions held in 2019. Over $60 million of wine and spirits were sold to online bidders in 2020 versus $28 million in 2019, with 85% of all lots offered finding online buyers. Demonstrating continued strength in Asia, Sotheby’s led the market in the region for the third consecutive year, with over 70% of the total bid amount in all Wine and Spirits sales attributed to collectors in Asia.

Sotheby’s Wine’s has had the privilege of auctioning numerous record-breaking wines and spirits in recent years, with 2020 alone witnessing new world auction records for any bottle of Japanese whisky, any bottle of whisky produced by the Dalmore Distillery, as well as any bottle of Cognac. Sotheby’s Wine currently holds the world records for any whisky collection ever sold at auction, any private wine collection ever sold at auction, the most expensive bottle of wine ever sold at auction and the most expensive bottle of spirits ever sold at auction.

In addition to auction, Sotheby’s Wine launched a retail business in 2010. With a retail store located in Sotheby’s New York headquarters and e-commerce at, Sotheby’s Wine offers a carefully curated selection of wines from the world’s most prestigious producers and important regions. Expertly assembled by our experienced specialists, the selection is built upon lasting relationships with winemakers from across the globe, with bottles that are ready for immediate consumption, in addition to investment-worthy wines from highly sought-after vintages. A second retail location opened in Sotheby’s Hong Kong galleries in 2014.

* Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Prices achieved include the hammer price plus buyer’s premium and are net of any fees paid to the purchaser where the purchaser provided an irrevocable bid.

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