Legendary Burgundies and Great Food in Beaune

An exclusive report from this year's Hospices de Beaune, the most famous wine auction in France

Tasting burgundies in Beaune.

Beaune is a beautiful little walled town that serves as Burgundy’s wine, food, and charity capital. Its Hospices de Beaune hospital dates back to 1443, and each November since 1851, its auction of new barrels of some of the most prestigious cuvées from the new Burgundy vintage has been a highlight for pinot noir and chardonnay lovers – and buyers – from around the world.

Click here for the Legendary Burgundies and Great Food in Beaune Slideshow

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This year, there was much early damage in the famed vineyards along the Côte d’Or from hail and cold weather, reducing the crop by 30 to 50 percent. However, the resulting wines are delicious, and when I got one of the coveted press seats to the 152nd edition of the auction this past Sunday, I saw 2012 Burgundy prices go up and up, raising a record € 5.9 million or $7.5 million dollars for various charities – including one headed by France’s former first lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy.