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Hospices de Beaune Wine Charity Auction Kicks Off Sunday With New Option for Virtual Bidding

by Dr. Liz Thach, MW
November 18, 2016

 On Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016, the Hospices de Beaune Charity Auction in Burgundy will celebrate its 156th year. Started in 1859, the auction is reputed to be the oldest in the world, and one that many other wine auctions are modeled upon. Each year the Hospice produces wine from its 60-hectare estate with 85% from Premier and Grand Cru vineyards. The young wine is auctioned off in barrel “en premier” because it still needs to age 12 to 16 months. The proceeds from the auction are donated to the hospital, upkeep of the museum, medical research and other relevant causes. For example, last year some of the proceeds were pledged to help victims of the Paris Terror Attacks.

As in previous years, buyers can bid online with Christie’s Auction House, where detailed descriptions of the wines are available. A new option to purchase as little as one bottle (prices ranging from $65 to $150, plus shipping) is offered by Domaines Albert Bichot, which also includes aging the wine in their cellars. This is unique because in the past bidders had to purchase a whole barrel and then find a local winery to age and bottle the wine for them.

The Hospices de Beaune auction is one of the highest grossing wine charity auctions in the world, bringing in €11.35million (approximately $12 million) in 2015. Other top grossing wine charity auctions include the Napa Valley Auction that achieved $14.3 million in 2016 and the Naples Winter Wine Festival that raised over $11 million in 2015.

For more information on virtual bidding see Christie’s at and Albert Bichot Auction Option at

by Dr. Liz Thach, MW  

 About the Author: Dr. Liz Thach, MW is the Distinguished Professor Wine & Management at Sonoma State University in California. She is on sabbatical in Burgundy this fall, and can be contacted at

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