The Hospices Civils de Beaune and the Château de Chambord join forces to release an exceptional Pièce de Charité (charity barrel), also known as the Pièce des Présidents (Presidents’ barrel) which will be auctioned by Christie’s to raise money for the hospital workers of France who have fallen victim to Covid-19 (Coronavirus), on the occasion of the 160th Hospices de Beaune wine auction due to be held on Sunday 15th November 2020.
Two jewels in French heritage
The Hospices Civils de Beaune : a hospital like any other yet so different thanks to its history
The story of the Hospices Civils de Beaune started back in 1443 when Nicolas Rolin and Guigone de Salins decided to build a hospital: l’Hôtel Dieu. With their charitable work and acts of patronage the founders instilled a tradition that has enabled the Hospices de Beaune to survive the centuries in exceptional circumstances. When the Philippe Le Bon hospital opened its doors outside the city centre in 1971, it was considered a “pilot” hospital, in other words a construction model for 10 future hospitals focused on modernisation and patient-centred care.
Currently, a new era has begun with the transformation of the hospital which has been necessary to meet the new requirements of modern hospital standards, as well as adapting to security measures in place, so as to provide the best possible care for patients. Today, the Hospices Civils de Beaune (Read the article about this Domaine) merges the health authorities of Beaune, Arnay-le-Duc, Seurre and Nuits-St-Georges. The Philippe Le Bon hospital in Beaune is the administrative centre for the Southern Côte d’Or Hospital Group.
The unique nature of this hospital institution is founded on the importance and the nature of its her- itage, made up on the one hand of a historical monument, l’Hôtel Dieu, dating back to the 15th cen- tury, and on the other hand a prestigious viticultural domaine extending over 60 hectares of the best appellations in Burgundy. All of these vineyards come from bequests and donations, and their re- sulting wine production is auctioned off every year on the 3rd Sunday in November on the occasion of the most famous wine auction in the world. Thus, by its heritage, this hospital institution plays a vital role in two of the major activities of Beaune and its region: tourism and wine.
• Chambord : an architectural masterpiece
Placed as early as 1840 on the initial list of French historic monuments, Chambord has been classi- fied as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1981. Surrounded by a vast forest reserve, protected by a 20-mile-long enclosure and with an area of 13,200 acres (5,440 hectares), Chambord is the largest walled park in Europe.
Under public ownership since 1930, the National Estate of Chambord became a state-owned estab- lishment of industrial and commercial character in 2005 and was placed under the high patronage of the president of the French republic and under the joint tutelage of the national ministries of cul- ture, agriculture and ecology. The Board of Directors is chaired by Augustin de Romanet. Since 2010, the public institution of Chambord has been directed by Jean d’Haussonville.
A unique charity barrel for the 160th Hospices de Beaune wine auction
For this anniversary edition, the Hospices Civils de Beaune and the Château de Chambord have joined forces to make the sale of the Presidents’ barrel a unique experience which will offer the possibility for buyers from all over the world, whether wine lovers or collectors, to bid to help a worthy and noble cause.
Healthcare workers to benefit : Front-line hospital workers from France and around the world have been mobilized to confront the Coronavirus epidemic. Their commitment and courage have made it possible to respond to the health needs of a nation and to confront the magnitude of this unprece- dented crisis. Some even making the ultimate sacrifice. It is fitting that this year, the profits from the sale of the Presidents’ barrel should benefit the hospital key-workers of France. They will be repre- sented by the French Hospital Federation (F.H.F) and the Committee for Social Work Management in Public Hospitals (C.G.O.S.) who will ensure the distribution of the donation to hospital staff and their families affected by this epidemic.
An outstanding wine : It is in the rare Burgundy Grand Cru vineyards of the Côte de Nuits, an area renowned for the greatest Pinot Noir vintages, that Ludivine Griveau, manager of the Hospices de Beaune vineyards, has scrupulously selected the best vines within the climat of “Les Froichots”, in the Grand Cru parcel of the Clos de la Roche domaine. Planted between 1968 and 1972 this old vine has remarkable properties which reveal themselves in the fruit and the tasting of the grapes confirming excellent ageing potential, perfect balance and beautiful structure.
A unique barrel : The wood used to make the barrel of the Pièce des Présidents is from grand cru oak grown in the Domaine de Chambord forest. Located in the Loire Valley, in the heart of France, the Chambord forest borders the national forests of Boulogne, Russy and Blois which are themselves ideal for oak barrel production. It is also less than 150 kilometres away from the prestigious forests of Loches, Bercé and Tronçais. Through the ages the domaine has been preserved and the entirety of its forest is classified a historical monument. Chambord complies with the sustainable manage- ment certifications Natura 2000 and PEFC (Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes). Today, the national domaine of Chambord is closely tied with the world of wine as it offers a limited edition of high quality oak barrels. This project is an impressive legacy whilst also being cost-effective and sustainable: Chambord hopes its forest will regain a rightful place in French his- tory, by promoting the lumber industry, developing the fame of its brand and lastly becoming part of an integrated initiative to promote wine tourism. This quest for excellence unites perfectly with the aspiration of the Hospices Civils de Beaune to deliver an exceptional Presidents’ barrel.
An unprecedented barrel-ageing : The buyer of the 2020 Presidents’ barrel will have the unique opportunity to have their wine aged in the Hospices de Beaune cellars, thus benefitting from all the care and expertise of domaine manager Ludivine Griveau, so that the wine develops its full potential and unique characteristics.
This special partnership between the Château de Chambord and the Hospices Civils de Beaune for the Presidents’ barrel, to be sold on the occasion of the 160th Hospices de Beaune wine auction, will be officially presented during a press conference at the Château de Chambord on Thursday October 1st 2020.