Sotheby's and the Cite du Vin Join Forces For an Unprecedented Sale

Press Release

<< Back
November 11, 2019 at 12:00 PM EST

Sotheby's and the Cite du Vin Join Forces For an Unprecedented Sale

Auction of exceptional wines and wine experiences

to benefit the Cité du Vin, Bordeaux’s wine museum

 Wine & Dine Experiences | Benefiting the Cité du Vin | Bordeaux

Online Only


*Bidding Opens at 3pm GMT Today*

London, 11 November 2019 – Just as for Marcel Proust, the experience of eating a madeleine was inextricably linked to the experience around it, so too the experience of tasting wine is often so much more than simply imbibing the liquid in a bottle. Today, bidding opens on an online auction of exceptional wines and wine experiences that will allow wine lovers and connoisseurs to gain unprecedented access to châteaux and estates, and to meet the people behind the wines.

Sotheby’s has joined forces with the Cité du Vin – a new generation interactive wine museum – for a sale which will raise funds to support its mission to protect, celebrate and share wine’s heritage with as wide an audience as possible, through the creation and development of cultural activities at the Cité du Vin’s foundation. Each winery and property featured in the sale has generously donated these lots to the foundation, which in turn is offering them for sale. The proceeds from the sale will help to develop the Cité du Vin’s 2020 cultural programme.

 The magnanimous hospitality on offer from the winemakers is immediately evident from the 42 lots which make up the auction. From some of the most world-famous properties, from Bordeaux to California and with many stops along the way, come an extraordinary selection of lots. These include tours of private châteaux and overnight stays, exclusive dinners at châteaux and Michelin star restaurants, and a stunning selection of wines in a variety of formats, rare and special cuvées, and horizontal and vertical tastings.

Jamie Ritchie, Chairman, Sotheby’s Wine, said: “Ever since it opened in 2016, the Cité du Vin has brought a renewed energy to Bordeaux, not least with the stunning architectural statement made by the building itself, the ‘Guggenheim of wine’. This immersive museum has played a vital role in focusing the world’s attention on the cultures and civilisations of millennia of wine history. We are thrilled to join forces with this iconic institution and offer exciting once-in-a-lifetime opportunities donated by each winery, for wine lovers to visit these great properties and receive their legendary hospitality. Meeting the people behind the wines provides an insight and perspective that is unique and will be an experience that can be savoured for the rest of one’s life. We expect bidders to buy several lots and make the trip of their lifetime.”

Sylvie Cazes, President of the Foundation for the Culture and Civilisations of Wine – Cité du Vin, said: “A sale of this magnitude is a first for the foundation. We are therefore delighted to be able to benefit from the expertise of Sotheby’s Wine, whose world-standing reputation will shine a light on the exceptional lots being offered by our generous donors for this special event, and the foundation’s mission in its cultural and artistic endeavours.”

Frédéric Guyot du Repaire, Specialist, Sotheby’s Wine, London, added: “Since these wine experiences are truly global in nature, we expect to attract bids from all over the world over the 12-day bidding period.”

All the wines are lying in Bond at Bordeaux City Bond, bidding will be conducted in pound sterling and the sale will close on Friday 22 November, with each lot closing sequentially from 1pm (GMT), 2pm (Continental time), 8am (EST), and 9pm (HKT). The sale is timed to close during a gala dinner in Hong Kong, hosted by Jeannie Cho Lee, MW, with the support of Peter Lam (President of the Hong Kong Tourism Board).