Hotel_Dieu_Beaune_small

It looks like we can expect significant price rises for the 2009 Burgundy vintage, after strong results at the annual Hospices de Beaune auction.

Prices at the charity auction were up 20% on average over 2008, with €5.8 million raised in total – the second highest amount in the auction's 149-year history. In the distant past, prices achieved went a long way to setting the prices for that year's vintage as a whole; in more modern times it is seen more as a guide to general sentiment. The auction consists of barrel lots (around 24 cases each) produced from vineyards owned by the Hospices de Beaune and is run by Christie’s auction house. 

Further details can be found in reports by the Wine Spectator and Decanter.

The interesting history of the hospices, including the original alms building (pictured above, now a museum and hotel) can be found on the charity's home page and wikipedia.