Founded in 1443, the Hospices de Beaune are the owners of a very prestigious vineyard that has developed over time thanks to donations and inheritance, and is mainly made up of Premier Cru and Grand Cru wines. The wine production is sold at a prestigious charity auction, held during a weekend of festivities…
To start the weekend as you mean to go on, attend the "Winegrowers and Young Talent" dinner which marks the beginning of the Beaune Wine Auction event. Trophies will be awarded to young winegrowers from all over Burgundy, and you can taste their wines during the meal. It is an opportunity to make some great new discoveries and taste some of the local treasures.
Discover the Hospices de Beaune and the wines
This is the number one place to visit in Beaune, the Musée de l’Hôtel-Dieu with its remarkable architecture and iconic "pôvres" room. Also not-to-be-missed: the wine cellars of the Domaine des Hospices, only open to visitors for this exceptional weekend.
The Fête des Grands Vins de Bourgogne
At the same time as the Hospices de Beaune Wine Auction, this big celebration of the great wines of Burgundy offers visitors the chance to taste more than 3,000 wines from all over Burgundy, from Chablis to Beaujolais, as well as some great wines from Côte-d’Or and Saône-et-Loire. It is also thanks to the friendly atmosphere of this event, the people you can meet and the local specialities you can taste such as "œufs en meurette" and "gougères", that make people leave with good memories and a strong desire to come back.
Did you know?
This famous Wine Auction has been held every year since 1924, on the 3rd weekend of November. Traditionally, the idea was that this event would follow on from the Foire Gastronomique de Dijon, a gastronomy fair created in 1921 by the former Mayor of Dijon, Gaston Gérard, who was very much involved in tourism and gastronomy. November was chosen for the event because it is a quiet period for the winegrowers and other producers so they can be available for these events, having already harvested their crops.
For this weekend-long event, take the time to wander the streets of Beaune and enjoy the entertainment, market stalls and folk bands.
Evening in Beaune
End your day on a high note in one of the town's restaurants or wine bars, to taste some great wines, accompanied by local deli meat and cheese. All these delicious things are to be enjoyed in moderation of course!
Fin de journée autour d'une bonne table
Terminez cette journée en beauté dans un des restaurants de la ville qui compte du reste 2 étoilés ! C'est en dégustant votre plat que vous prendrez toute la mesure de la réputation gastronomique internationale...et nullement usurpée de la région.
Every year, the auction is led by national and sometimes international celebrities. Some are from noble families, French actors and actresses such as Lino Ventura, Christian Clavier and Catherine Deneuve, singers such as Carla Bruni-Sarkozy and Charles Aznavour, international fashion icons such as Inès de La Fressange or sports personalities such as Tony Parker and Teddy Riner.
"Watch your head!"
You might hear a winegrower shout out that phrase as you venture into a wine cellar on one of the estates that has been opened especially for the occasion. This tradition of exchange and sharing is an opportunity for you to ask any questions you may have and to learn about how the winegrowers work, in a much quieter setting that at the Fête des Grands Vins de Bourgogne. (Why not buy a few bottles to take home with you!)
The Wine Auction
For a long time, the wines from the estate were sold either amicably or through bidding, until the auction system was officially introduced in 1859. The profits from this auction go to the Hospices, to preserve the heritage, and to various charities. This annual event takes place at the Halle de Beaune, and buyers come from all over the world, including from Asia and the United States. There is a unique atmosphere at the charity wine auction, which is the most famous of its kind in the world!