Despite the coronacrisis, at the traditional wine auction for the benefit of hospitals in the French city of Beaune, a record has fallen again. On Sunday, the sale of the masterpiece raised 780,000 euros. The amount, counted by a Chinese buyer, goes in its entirety to healthcare workers who have contracted Covid-19.
The annual wine sale by the hospitals is a centuries-old use in the Burgundian city of Beaune. The auctioned wine comes from vineyards that once came into the hands of those institutions through donations. It concerns dozens of hectares of vineyards. The hospitals of Beaune are therefore one of the most important wineries in Burgundy. The price offered is increased because the proceeds are destined for charity, but it does serve as a measure of Burgundy wine prices. The buyers are usually wine merchants.
“ All over the world, hospital workers have given their health, and sometimes their lives for us. Today you are there for them,” said François Poher, director of the charity behind the auction, in his speech before the 160th edition of the charitable sale.
A few hours after the opening of the auction, a “charity piece” (a 228 litre barrel, or 288 bottles) was sold for 780,000 euros, including 120,000 euros in donation. With this, the previous record from 2015 (480,000 euros) was shattered. “We want to pay tribute to all healthcare providers, in France and around the world, who fight against this epidemic day and night,” said the buyer, a Chinese who wanted to remain anonymous.
The auction was initially scheduled for November 15, but had to be postponed due to the epidemic. Instead of the usual 600, only about 170 buyers participated in the auction this year. About 140 of them participated on the phone or the Internet.
Six hundred and thirty 228 litre auction pieces, including many grand cru‘s and premier cru’s from the Burgundy region, were offered for sale. Last year the proceeds of the auction amounted to no less than 12 million euros.