Every November the annual Hospices de Beaune Wine Auction takes place in the heart of Burgundy. The auction is one of the wine world’s most prestigious and historic events. For 157 years the auction – which is a charitable event benefitting a hospital built in the 15th century -- has served as a bellwether for growers, negociants and collectors to gauge the quality of new vintage. The fine Burgundies offered to the participants in the Hospices de Beaune auction are made in very limited quantities, and they represent the best of traditional Burgundian winemaking.
Corton is a Grand Cru vineyard for red wine within the Corton appellation. It is a long, slender, stony limestone site that wraps part way around the top slopes of Montagne de Corton, a hill that reaches to 1,150 feet. The 234-acre vineyard primarily faces south, west and east, and is sheltered by a windbreak of trees while also receiving excellent exposure to sun. Corton is the Cote de Beaune’s only red Grand Cru. The largest producers are Louis Latour, with 37.5 acres; Hospices de Beaune, with 16 acres; and D'Ardhuy, with 11.85 acres. The names of smaller vineyards within Corton are frequently added to the names of Corton wines, resulting in names such as Corton Les Renardes, Corton Les Chaumes, Corton les Perrieres, etc.
This red wine is relatively light and can pair with a wide variety of foods. The grape prefers cooler climates and the wine is most often associated with Burgundy, Champagne and the U.S. west coast. Regional differences make it nearly as fickle as it is flexible.