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2 July 2014  |  Wine   |  Article

Hospices de Beaune - Glossary of Essential Terms

Le Domaine
The Hospices de Beaune Domaine consists of the vineyards, premises and the machinery necessary for wine growing and vinification. The Hospices vineyard has grown over the centuries thanks to donations. It covers today approximately 61 hectares (146 acres), including notably prestigious Premier Cru and Grand Cru appellations.

Vin primeur
The Hospices de Beaune sell wines at auction as “vins primeurs”, i.e. from the current year’s harvest, which have been barrelled, but still need to be tended*.

La Cuvée
The wines at the Hospices de Beaune auction are presented by Cuvée. The Cuvées described in the catalogue represent a particular type of wine. There are 45 Cuvées in total and each one bears the name of the Grand Cru or the name of the village (“Appellation” in French), and the name of the historic donor of the vineyard, e.g. Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru [name of wine] Cuvée Madeleine Collignon [name of donor] or Beaune 1er Cru [name of wine] Cuvée Nicolas Rolin [name of benefactor].

Blanc, rouge, alcools
The sale features 32 Cuvées* of red wine and 13 of white wine, sold per barrel. There are also 2 spirits, which are sold per hectoliter (22 UK gallons or 26 USA gallons).

Parcel: each Cuvée* offered for sale is subdivided into parcels of several identical barrels (same size and same description), called “pieces” in Burgundy. The buyer can at any time choose to purchase one single barrel, or several, or all the remaining barrels within a parcel*, at the hammer price (buying price excluding premium) of the first barrel he or she bid for.

The Hospices de Beaune wines are sold in barrels called “pièces”. The barrels from any one Cuvée* are identical (same size and same description). It is possible for a buyer to purchase one single barrel, or several, or all the remaining barrels within a parcel*, any time during the sale, and at an identical hammer price (see the chapter “How to follow the sale and read the catalogue”).

In an auction, a lot is an item or a group of items offered for sale together. Each lot has a lot number which fixes its presentation order in the sale. In the Hospices de Beaune Wine Auction, each barrel, called "pièce*" in Burgundy, constitutes a lot of the sale. Options to buy parcels* gives the buyer the choice to buy one or several lots within a parcel*, at the hammer price of the lot for which he or she first bid.

Pièce des Présidents
The Sale proceeds are dedicated to the Hospices de Beaune charitable activities : improvement of medical equipment and structures, as well as upkeep of historical monuments such as the world-famous Hôtel-Dieu in Beaune. Besides, since 1945, the Hospices have supported each year one or several other charities, represented by celebrities, by granting these causes the sale profits of a wine barrel called “pièce des Présidents”. You can find this special barrel at the end of the catalogue. On the sale day, it will be offered “à la bougie” (after the extinction of candles) between 3.30pm and 4.30pm.

Faculté de multiplication
Options to buy parcels : all the barrels (called « pièces* » in Burgundy) from any one Cuvée* are identical: same size, same description and each barrel constitutes a lot*. Each Cuvée* offered for sale is subdivided into parcels* called “séries*” of several barrels. Barrels will be offered with options to buy parcels. This means that the buyer of the first barrel of the parcel* will be able to purchase other barrels at the same hammer price (buying price excluding premium), to the extent of the number of barrels in the parcel*. If the buyer of the first barrel decides not to take other barrels or all the barrels of the parcel*, and prefers to buy only one barrel, option to buy parcels will be transmitted to the buyer of the following barrel, and this will continue until the end of the parcel*.

Tending: élevage may be translated as tending, or helping to grow, the wine. It takes place after the grape juice, known as must, has been transformed, by the process of fermentation, into wine. Special care is given to the new wine over the months so that it develops its own character, in relation to its terroir and “appellation”. Bottling concludes tending. The tending of the wines bought at the Hospices de Beaune auction must be done by a négociant-éleveur in the region of production. Tending lasts between 12 and 24 months.

Etiquetage personnalisé
Customised labels: While the wine is being tended, but before its bottling, as a buyer you may choose to personalise the Hospices labels. Your name, your club’s name, or your company’s name may be printed on the bottle labels, alongside the Hospices de Beaune crest, the name of the historic donor, and that of the chosen tender.

New barrels: until 2005, all the white wines of the Hospices de Beaune fermented in new oak barrels. One-year-old barrels : the red wines were also drawn off into new oak, after fermentation in vat. Since 2006, several wines have been chosen to be lodged and offered in “fûts d’un vin”: one-year-old barrels, which served for the making and tending of the Hospices de Beaune’s previous vintage.

+33 (0)1 40 76 83 68

Sale 3600
154th Hospices de Beaune Wine Auction
16 November 2014

Related Departments

Le Domaine

Vin primeur

La Cuvée

Faculté de multiplication


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