Christie’s France has presented their famous Hospices de Beaune charitable wine auction for 155 years. But this year, for very obvious reasons, the mere event of holding the auction carried much heavier weight.
What’s typically a weekend of festivity—called “The Three Glorious Days of Burgundy,” teeming with parades, a half-marathon, street performances, and a “gourmet village”—was comparatively quiet this year, with no music, flags hung respectfully at half-staff, and a general air of solemnity. The only appropriate response to Friday’s unspeakable tragedy in Paris.
But solemnity wasn’t the only response. Beaune is the wine capital of Burgundy, and the auction is held yearly to provide tastings and access to some of Burgundy’s best wines. Each year, the auction benefits charities of its choosing. This year, and by no surprise, the money raised was divided three ways: between the Curie Cancer Institute, a brain tumor research foundation, and to benefit victims of Friday’s attacks.
Again, no surprise—and a testament to the people of France—bids were higher than ever recorded, with average bids on red and white wines up a staggering 27% and 32% respectively. The auction broke all previous records, with bids coming in from all around the world. In total the auction raised $12.11 Million.