The only Grand Cru location or appellation in the municipality of Vougeot in the Burgundy region of Côte d'Or. The famous vineyard was created by Cistercian monks in the 14th century. In 1330, it was enclosed by a high wall that still exists today, several kilometres long. The monks used it as an "experimental vineyard", with the soil types changing at short intervals, which was very convenient. They are even said to have "tasted the soil" to determine the composition or terroir. They used professional methods to test which grape varieties were best suited for cultivation on which soils, as well as the best pruning and fertilization. In the upper area, the permeable, lean soils are rich in limestone and gravel. This is the site of the Château du Clos de Vougeot, where the annual meeting of the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin is held as part of "Les Trois Glorieuses" (Three Glorious Days). In the lower area along the road, the less appreciated alluvial soils of clay and loam predominate.
Clos de Vougeot is the largest Grand Cru location on the Côte d'Or with over 50 hectares. The vineyards are shared by 85 winegrowers, often with very small shares. The extremely long-lasting red wine is mainly pressed from Pinot Noir. However, Pinot Liébault and Pinot Beurot(Pinot Gris) are also permitted, theoretically up to 15% Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc could also be used. Due to the many producers with different winemaking methods, the quality of the red wines varies, but many of them are characterised by a richness of extract, which only fully develops after ten years at the earliest. Besides Clos du Vougeot, the bottle labels also show Clos-Vougeot or Clos Vougeot. Well-known producers are Arnoux, Bichot (Domaine du Clos Frantin), Confuron-Contetidot, Joseph Drouhin, Drouhin-Laroze, Engel, Faiveley, Grivot, Michel Gros, Jadot, Lamarche, Domaine Leroy, Méo-Camuzet, Georges Mugneret, Prieuré-Roch and Tardi.
Picture: © Bénédecite MANIERE and Jean-Louis BERNUY