Hos­pices de Beaune . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

The old­est and most fa­mous of Bour­gogne’s Domaine and char­ity wine auc­tion

VertdeVin - - Front Page -

The Hos­pices de Beaune were founded by Ni­co­las Rolin (Chan­cel­lor of the Duke of Bur­gundy Philippe Le Bon) and his wife Guigone de Salin at the end of the Hun­dred Years War and more specif­i­cally in 1443, “I, Ni­co­las Rolin… from now on and for­ever, found and ir­re­vo­ca­bly en­dow, in the town of Beaune, a Hos­pi­tal for sick and poor peo­ple, with a chapel…” (Ni­co­las Rolin foun­da­tion char­ter of Hôtel-Dieu)

The de­sire clearly was to cre­ate a hos­pi­tal for care of the poor, the el­derly, or­phans and the sick at the time. It opened for the first mass in 1452 as the Ho­tel-Dieu.

In 1457 ac­quired the first vine­yard do­na­tion; the only real wealth of the time, for the Hos­pices de Beaune. Guillemette Lev­er­rier do­nated to the Hos­pices few parcels of vines of « Beaune, lieu dit Beau­mont-le-Franc ».Two years later Jean Plam­pays and his wife also do­nated a par­cel of vine­yard in Beaune.This launch opened the doors for many other gifts that fol­lowed.

Re­gard­ing the sale of wine and its de­riv­a­tives it has not al­ways been done through the auc­tion sys­tem. Since they had not been reg­u­lated un­til 1859 sales could take place am­i­ca­bly un­til the French Rev­o­lu­tion and then by sub­mis­sion. In 1859 auc­tion has def­i­nitely es­tab­lished it­self as pro­ce­dure for the sale of wine at the Hos­pices de Beaune. In 1924 the date was set at ev­ery third Sun­day of Novem­ber. In 2005 wish­ing to en­sure a per­fect or­ga­ni­za­tion and un­will­ing to trust the or­ga­ni­za­tion to in­dus­try ex­perts the Hos­pices de Beaune turned to to the fa­mous auc­tion house Christie’s (the first auc­tion house in the world) for the or­ga­ni­za­tion of the 145th edi­tion and for the fol­low­ing auc­tions.

VertdeVin: What is the sig­na­ture of your wines? What makes it pos­si­ble to rec­og­nize your wines, your touch in blind tast­ing ?

Lu­di­vine Griveau : It is re­ally a dif­fi­cult ques­tion, but what is good is that, in the end, it forces re­flec­tion. It is mainly the con­sumers, the con­nois­seurs who should an­swer this ques­tion rather than me be­cause it is mainly un­con­scious. What I hope to ex­press in the wines I work with is pas­sion. I think I make wines that have spirit and es­pe­cially, be­cause it is para­mount for me, re­spect­ful of their ter­roirs.

It is rather para­dox­i­cal fi­nally with the ti­tle of the ques­tion be­cause that is pre­cisely why we do not have wines with its own sig­na­ture since it is the ter­roir that takes over. In the end the sig­na­ture could not be mine to have but the wines are marked by their ter­roirs. Af­ter all, I’m aware of it, but from there to de­ci­pher it, to

say what char­ac­ter­izes it or to put words on it is more com­pli­cated for me.It may be bet­ter to ask those who taste them.

V.d.V.: If to­mor­row you had the op­por­tu­nity to have a vine­yard and pro­duce your own wine which re­gion would you choose ? Would you like to make your own wine ?

L.G. : Yes of course I would! If it is in France I would say that it is in­con­testably in Bur­gundy. If it is in an­other coun­try it would be in Italy since my pa­ter­nal roots are Ital­ian and it pushes me a lit­tle. I am Bur­gun­dian enough to love all the coasts but I still have a small pen­chant for the Côte de Beaune. It is there that I cut my teeth, that I started, that I learned so I have a cer­tain at­tach­ment for the Côte of Beaune.

V.d.V.: Do you have an anec­dote to us ?

L.G. :Yes, in­deed, I would even have two, one on the Hos­pices de Beaune and one on my ca­reer.

The first morn­ing I took of­fice Mr.An­toine Jac­quet greeted me say­ing, re­mind­ing me: First of all, never for­get that you work for a hos­pi­tal!

The sec­ond is broader, more gen­eral and con­cerns my ca­reer. The day af­ter I fin­ished my stud­ies and my dif­fer­ent cour­ses I re­ally thought, here I want to make wine. I want to be at the pro­duc­tion, feet in the vines and not in the mar­ket­ing, at the ad­min­is­tra­tion.All this thanks to a vi­gneron of Pom­mard to whom I would like to pay trib­ute, Mr Virely.

V.d.V.: Do you have plans for the Domaine des Hos­pices de Beaune?

Yes plenty of projects! With­out or­der of im­por­tance, with­out hi­er­ar­chiza­tion I would say to con­tinue to work hard in the vine­yard, to con­tinue to carry out a pol­icy of spe­cific vin­tages re­ally de­ter­mined, adapted to each soil by tak­ing the time to think and do things to the best.This is a beau­ti­ful project! But it is vast be­cause the re­mov­ing and re­plant­ing cam­paigns have to be car­ried out with a cer­tain re­flec­tion. It is not only a mat­ter of pulling out vines, but also of re­plant­ing.And then there are eco­nomic con­sid­er­a­tions to take into ac­count too…

I also re­ally wanted to work with my team on the spray qual­ity. I hope they will hear me too be­cause they have the free choice to equip them­selves as they wish. How­ever, I hope that they are aware that the in­vest­ments made by (and for) them later will re­quire the ac­qui­si­tion of more ad­vanced and ef­fi­cient equip­ment (strad­dles, trac­tors…). Thanks to Lu­di­vine Griveau for her warm wel­come.

J.C.C.

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