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Cité du Vin receives funding boost from Sotheby’s auction

An online auction designed to raise money for the Cité du Vin museum in Bordeaux earned €337,000 (£288,000) this week.

Called ‘Wine and Dine Experiences’, each lot included limited-edition wines, plus lunch and a private tasting at the winery.

Winemakers from across the world donated to the Sotheby’s auction, with all proceeds going to the Foundation for Wine Culture and Civilisations, which manages Cité du Vin.

The most valuable lot featured a double magnum of Le Pin 2011, a double magnum of Le Pin 2015, a private tasting and lunch at the Bordeaux estate for eight guests.

The lot had an estimate of €45,000 to €65,000, but it smashed that target by attracting a winning bid of €75,000.

The successful bidder will enjoy ‘an outstanding and exceptional’ lunch with owners Jacques and Fiona Thienpont at the Pomerol estate, said Sotheby’s.

A rare vertical of five magnums of Penfolds Bin 707 spanning five decades, presented in boxes signed by chief winemaker Peter Gago – winner of the Decanter Hall of Fame award in 2021 – fetched €17,500. The winning bidder will also enjoy a dinner in Paris hosted by a Penfolds ambassador.

Many other lots exceeded their upper estimates. For example, a six-litre Imperial of Château Cheval Blanc 2008, plus lunch at the château for six guests, earned €16,250.

Meanwhile, a double magnum of Château Figeac 2009 and a double magnum of Château Figeac 2010, together with a private tasting and lunch at the château for six guests, fetched €11,875, well ahead of the €6,000 upper estimate.

A double magnum of Ornellaia 1998, plus a private dinner at the Tuscan property for six, beat its €6,000 upper estimate with a winning bid of €10,625.

Château Latour, Château Mouton Rothschild, Château Angelus, Château Palmer, Château d’Yquem, Guigal, Sassicaia, Promontory in Napa and Catena Zapata in Mendoza were some of the other esteemed producers that contributed to the auction.

The funds will be used to continue the work of the Cité du Vin, which has been described as the ‘Guggenheim of wine’ since opening its doors in 2016.

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