Situated in the heart of prestigious vineyards, like Pommard, Corton-Charlemagne, La Romanée-Conti, Nuits-Saint-Georges and Gevrey-Chambertin, you will find the town of Beaune, only 45km from Dijon and the focal point for wine tourism in the Burgundy area. Arriving in Beaune our guide for the day Fabien met us off the train to begin our full day guided tour of the Route des Grands Crus.
From Dijon all the way to the wine village of Santenay the “Route des Grands Crus” takes you through the vineyards of the Côte de Nuits and the Côte de Beaune.
Fabien our guide, the son and grandson of local wine makers has many contacts within the most famous wine growing companies of Burgundy. His passion and knowledge for wine was obvious and we hit it off from the start.
Côte de Nuits
Beaune / Aloxe Corton / Pernand Vergelesses / Nuits St Georges / Vosne Romanée / Vougeot / Chambolle Musigny / Morey St Denis / Gevrey Chambertin
Our first stop was in the vineyard of Romanée Conti in Vosne Romanée. Wine from this vineyard is among the most sought after, and expensive, in the world. Romanee-Conti is a Grand Cru vineyard site (and corresponding appellation) of the Cote de Nuits sub-region of Burgundy. One of six Grand Cru sites in the village of Vosne-Romanee, the vineyard is the only one to be bordered on all sides by other Grand Crus. Covering just 620ft (190m) across at its widest point, the Romanee-Conti appellation is one of the very smallest in France.
For me no visit to France is complete without visiting at least one Chateau, so I was delighted the next stop was the Chateau du Clos de Vougeot.
Chateau du Clos de Vougeot was originally a wine farm, built-in the 12th century by monks from the nearby Abbey of Cîteaux. In the 16th century, a Renaissance style château was added to the existing buildings.
The medieval vat-house and four enormous oak presses are found in the winery.
In the centre of the little courtyard you find, the Porteur de Benaton, the work of the famous Burgundy sculptor, Henri Bouchard de l’Institut (1875 – 1961).
Badly damaged during the Second World War, the Château was patiently and lovingly restored over the years by the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin and their many friends.
Even though the Chateau du Clos de Vougeot does not produce wine anymore it has been a national monument since 1949 and is well worth visiting.
Our next stop was the wine cellar of Moillard-Grivot to sample various wines from the Cote De Nuits.
Côte de Beaune
Beaune / Pommard / Volnay / Meursault / Puligny-Montrachet / Chassagne-Montrachet / Santenay
In the afternoon we focused on Côte de Beaune and the vineyards of Puligny-Montrachet and Chassagne-Montrachet. Visiting the vineyards gave us a better understanding of the Côte de Beaune.
Our last visit of the afternoon was to Santenay to Prosper Maufoux, found in the heart of the Santenay village, this beautiful mansion-house built-in 1835 by Jacques Marie Duvault-Blochet, who at the time was the owner of the prestigious domaine de la Romanée Conti.
Here we enjoyed visiting the vaulted cellar dating back to the fifteenth century and enjoyed a wine tasting from the Côte de Beaune.