La Romanée, Grand Cru: This diminutive .85 ha. Grand Cru climat in Vosne-Romanée is the smallest Grand Cru in the Côte-d’Or and the smallest appellation contrôlée in France. Arguably one of the finest vineyards in France, the poet Gaston Roupnel extolled La Romanée as “La perle du milieu dans le collier bourguignon“ (loosely, “the central jewel of the Burgundian necklace”). It lies just to the west and uphill from La Romanée-Conti, to the south of Les Richebourgs and to the north of La Grande Rue. It was originally a part of La Romanée-Conti, belonging to the Croonenbourg family from the Fifteenth Century until it was partitioned off in 1760 and sold to the Prince de Conti. A monopole, La Romanée has belonged to the Liger-Belair family since 1815. It was the only major vineyard retained by the family when the remainder of its holdings were auctioned off in the 1930’s. Facing east, the vineyard lies on a steep 16% slope at an elevation of about 280 meters. The subsoil is friable Prémeaux limestone; the topsoil is a sandy-clay mixed with pebbles. Under the skilled and sensitive direction of Louis-Michel Liger-Belair, the wines of La Romanée are said once again to rival in quality the iconic vineyards, La Tâche, and La Romanée-Conti.