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Hiding from the Nazis in the Hospices de Beaune

In the early hours of 7 June 1944, the Gestapo came looking for Véronique’s grandfather Maurice Drouhin. Maurice was the second generation of the Drouhin family, who have been producing premium Burgundy wines since 1880.

‘Maurice was one of the pillars of the French Resistance during World War II, he was the liaison officer for General Douglas McArthur,’ said Jacquie Morrison manager of l’Oenothèque Joseph Drouhin.

‘When the Gestapo had enough evidence that Maurice had been passing on information to the ‘“enemy”, they sent an execution squad to kill him,’ she told Decanter.com.

Thanks to telephone warning, Maurice managed to escape from his bedroom to the Drouhin family cellars. The vaulted cellars cover almost a hectare, an ancient maze of passages sprawling beneath the Duke of Burgundy’s parliament building, dating back to the 13th century.

‘My grandfather knew the wine vaults so well, he found his way through the now famous Door of Freedom which runs to Hospices de Beaune,’ said Véronique.

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