En Orveaux, a tiny 1.79 hectare Premier Cru climat of Vosne-Romanée, is one of the smallest vineyards of the appellation, producing a rare wine with a very intriguing story to boot. The vineyard is situated in the northwest sector of the commune of Flagey-Echézeaux, adjacent to the border with Chambolle-Musigny.
The entire En Orveaux lieu-dit actually comprises 6.83 hectares, but 5.04 hectares of En Orveaux was in 1937 incorporated into the Grand Cru Echézeaux. The remaining piece, which is about the same size as La Romanée-Conti, remains as Premier Cru Vosne-Romanée. It is interesting to note that Lavalle’s prior classification ranked the entirety of En Orveaux as a Première Cuvée, superior in quality even to the two climats of Echézeaux that are today judged to be the finest, Pouilaillères and Echézeaux du Dessus.
En Orveaux lies at an elevation of 280 meters with a northerly exposition, and the vines are planted in rows running north-south. The rocky soil is noticeably rich in clay but enjoys excellent drainage. Due to its altitude and northern exposure, the fruit is among the latest in Vosne to mature .
The finest example En Orveaux is produced by Sylvain Cathiard, who holds a .293 hectare parcel that was at one time classified as part of Echézeaux.
Wines from En Orveaux exhibit the unmistakable seductive allure of Premier Cru Vosne-Romanée, with perhaps less structure and power than Reignots or Malconsorts but with arguably greater refinement and elegance.