Hospices de Beaune . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
The oldest and most famous of Bourgogne’s Domaine and charity wine auction
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.