WORLDBEAT – wine auction prices in Burgundy, France

WORLDBEAT – wine auction prices in Burgundy, France – Brief Article

Larry Walker

Buyers paid a record $4.9 million at the 140th Hospices de Beaune auction in late November. The money goes to a number of hospital charities in Burgundy.

Prices for white wines were up by an average of 20%, while red prices climbed an average of 9%. Prices were also boosted by the strong dollar and yen against the Euro.

The auction is the world’s oldest charity wine auction. Unlike charity auctions in California and elsewhere, all the wine is made from grapes grown in vineyards owned by the Hospices de Beaune. The vineyards have been donated over the past five centuries as a source of revenue for the hospitals.

The record bidding came as a surprise and several were hoping prices would stay flat to keep Burgundy producers from raising prices to consumers.

Also unlike Napa and other U.S. charity auctions, the prices are generally regarded as a guide for those who want to raise prices.

Some Burgundy producers expressed fears that the bidding had become “artificial” like the high-profile U.S. auctions, and has no relation to the quality of the wines sold.

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