Former French first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy will preside over the 152nd Hospices de Beaune auction next month.
Bruni-Sarkozy, the wife of former French president Nicolas Sarkozy, will be joined by legendary French actor Gérard Depardieu, who, along with French football player and coach Guy Roux will encourage bidding on the sale of the special cuvée known as the President’s Lot.
This 350-litre barrel of Corton Grand Cru Cuvée Charlotte Dumay will be the centrepiece of the Sunday 18 November charity auction, at which buyers bid for barrels of wine produced by the Domaine des Hospices de Beaune.
The proceeds of the auction go to the various charities supported by the Hospices, a 600-year-old almshouse which has benefitted over the years from gifts of vineyards.
The Domaine, which is a non-profit organisation, now owns about 61ha of Grand Cru and Premier Cru vines.
According to Burgundy Wine Council (BIVB) spokeswoman Cécile Mathiaud, Depardieu and Roux will create ‘buzz’ with that sale, the proceeds of which will be donated to two charitable institutions, the Fondation Carla Bruni-Sarkozy supports arts and education for disadvantaged children, and the Institut des Epilepsies de l’Enfant et l’Adolescent (Idée), which fights epilepsy in children and adolescents.
‘It is an honour to see my foundation supported by the Hospices de Beaune,’ Bruni-Sarkoy said. ‘I hope that our work will continue to help the most vulnerable find a second chance.’
Industry professionals and journalists will assess the 2012 vintage – the smallest harvest for the Hospices in the last 25 years – in a barrel tasting the day before the auction at Salle Saint-Nicolas, Hotel-Dieu, led by Roland Masse, director of the Domaine.
The same day, some 3,000 Burgundy wines, including the 2012 vintage, will be made available to taste for a larger public at the Palais des Congrès in Beaune.
Proceeds from the auction, which takes place on Sunday afternoon and which will be directed by Christie’s, will benefit l’Hôpital de Beaune, which includes modernisation of various facilities in the hospital, its associated retirement homes and the museum.
Written by Panos Kakaviatos