I would like to share in more depth with you our appreciation for Pinot Noir through the lens of our pilgrimage to the Hospices de Beaune in 2021.
Burgundy is the spiritual home of Pinot Noir, where the grape was raised to greatness side by side with the development of the concept of terroir. For centuries, monks in Burgundy made wine, and made a study of wine, and carefully cultivated, observed, and demarcated which pieces of land produced which flavors from the same grape.
The Hospices de Beaune was established in this place as a charitable hospital to care for the sick. For over five hundred years, this institution has cared for Burgundians and in return, Burgundians have bequeathed a patchwork of fine vineyards to the institution.
In the present day, the Hospices de Beaune crafts fifty cuvees from one hundred and fifty acres of vines, and these cuvees are some of the most sought after Pinot Noirs in the world. Of course, in France they are not called Pinot Noir, but Burgundy, because the grape and the place are inextricably linked.
There are three major distinctions between the vineyards of Burgundy which are often described as “quality” levels. The basic bottle of red Burgundy is called Bourgogne, or Burgundy. Vineyards which reliably produced more elegant and expressive wines were granted the classification of “premier cru”, or “first growth”. The term “grand cru” is reserved for the rarest and most exquisite terroirs, and the legends that have been built over the centuries around these wines is unmatched.
The Hospices de Beaune auction in November 2021 marked the return of the live auction after a two year interruption due to COVID-19. We felt it would be auspicious to mark the birth of our project at the re-birth of this magnificent institution of Pinot Noir. Continue the journey with us next week when we will give you an insider’s look into the whole event, from pre-auction tasting to live bidding.