The Hospices de Beaune and the wines?

The Hospices de Beaune and the wines?

The Hospices de Beaune, also known as Hôtel-Dieu, is an iconic Burgundy institution, famous not only for its medieval architecture and philanthropic history, but also for its prestigious wines and annual auctions. Discover the fascinating history of the Hospices de Beaune and the importance of their wines and auctions.

History of the Hospices de Beaune

Foundation and initial goal

The Hospices de Beaune were founded in 1443 by Nicolas Rolin, chancellor of the Duke of Burgundy Philippe the Good, and his wife Guigone de Salins. The Hôtel-Dieu de Beaune was created to provide care to the poor and the sick during a particularly difficult period marked by the Hundred Years’ War and a great famine.

Architecture and heritage

The building is a masterpiece of Flamboyant Gothic architecture. Its roof made of glazed Burgundy tiles, with colorful and geometric patterns, has become a symbol of the region. Inside, the hospital rooms, such as the Great Hall of the Pôvres, are magnificently preserved and bear witness to the charitable mission of the institution.

Evolution over the centuries

Over the centuries, the Hospices de Beaune have evolved, extending their mission beyond hospital care to include the management of vineyards bequeathed by grateful donors. These vineyards are located in the best climates of the Côte de Beaune and Côte de Nuits, and produce some of Burgundy’s most renowned wines.

The wines of the Hospices de Beaune

Terroir and vineyards

The Hospices de Beaune own around 60 hectares of vineyards, mainly composed of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The plots are located in prestigious appellations such as Pommard, Volnay, Meursault, and Corton. Each plot benefits from a unique terroir, which allows the production of varied and high-quality wines.

Winemaking techniques

Hospices de Beaune wines are produced respecting Burgundian traditions while integrating modern techniques to optimize quality. Winemaking is carried out by renowned partner estates, and each wine is carefully crafted to reflect the character of the original terroir.

The wine auction

The Hospices de Beaune wine auction, held every year in November, is one of the most famous events on the global wine calendar. The first auction took place in 1859, and since then it has become an unmissable event for wine lovers and professionals.

How ​​the auction works

The sale takes place in the Halle de Beaune, where barrels of wine (called “pieces”) are put up for auction. The profits from the sale are intended to finance the hospital works of the Hospices de Beaune as well as heritage conservation. This sale is also an indicator of trends in the Burgundy wine market.

Impact and reputation

The wines sold at the Hospices de Beaune auctions are highly sought after for their exceptional quality and their history. Buyers include individuals, collectors and wine professionals from around the world. The event also attracted media attention, contributing to the international reputation of Burgundy wines.

The hospice vintage

Each year, the Hospices de Beaune vintages are dedicated to historic benefactors or notable personalities of the region. These vintages, like the “Cuvée Nicolas Rolin” or the “Cuvée Guigone de Salins”, are symbolic and bear the name of patrons who contributed to the heritage of the Hospices.

In brief, about the Hospices de Beaune and the wines

The Hospices de Beaune represent a unique fusion of historical heritage, charity and winemaking excellence. Since their founding in the 15th century, they have evolved to become a major player in the world of wine in Burgundy. Their annual wine auctions are a signature event that continues to attract the attention of wine lovers around the world, while supporting a noble cause. The Hospices de Beaune thus remain a living testimony to the history and wine culture of Burgundy.

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