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Archive for the ‘Appellations’ Category

Clos de Vougeot: This 50.97-hectare Grand Cru climat, situated in the commune of Vougeot, is the largest Grand Cru in the Cote-de-Nuits and the largest clos (walled vineyard) in the Cote-d’Or. At over 75% of the Vougeot’s vineyards, the Clos de Vougeot dominates its commune as does no other vineyard in Burgundy.

There are several different soil types within the Clos de Vougeot and so the location of the vines is of particular importance. Although the vineyard appears rather flat from the perspective at the highway (RN 74) , there is in fact about 30 meters of vertical drop, with a 3°-4° slope, as the vineyard extends out from the Château toward the RN74. The soil closest to the Château, the preferred part of the vineyard, is well-drained granular, limestone-based soil of Bathonian origin.  The soil becomes increasingly marly in the middle section of the vineyard, with a topsoil depth of 40-50 centimeters, but the abundant  pebbles keep it well-drained. Closer to the road, as the water table rises, the soil becomes increasingly alluvial with a greater proportion of clay and retained moisture.

There are over 80 exploitants of the Clos de Vougeot, including Domaines Meo-Camuzet, Michel Gros, Leroy,  as well as the Domaine de la Vougeraie  and the Domaine de Montille.

The 1.05-hectare parcel belonging  to the Domaine de la Vougeraie  is located at the top and highest portion of the vineyard just to the left of the alley leading to the Château. The .29-hectare parcel belonging the Domaine de Montille is situated by the abandoned tower  just west of the Château de LaTour.

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Vougeot, one of the most emblematic and celebrated names within the Côte d’Or region of Burgundy in eastern France, is a study of contrasts. Vougeot is at once the smallest commune in Burgundy and home to the largest Clos (walled vineyard) in the Côte d’Or, the world-famous Clos de Vougeot.  Vougeot  boasts 50.59 hectares of Grand Cru vines out of a total of only 67.18 hectares. It is a small village of only 200 inhabitants, and yet has occupied a singular and pivotal role in the history of Burgundy and continues to wield an influence far exceeding its modest size.

Vougeot was first settled by reformist monks of Citeaux in the 12th Century, refugees from their Benedictine brethren at Cluny, whom the Cistercians (as they came to be called) accused of betraying the precepts of St. Benedict and falling into profligacy and even debauchery.  The Cistercians sought out a purer and more contemplative (ora et labora) monastic path..  To the everlasting gratitude of aesthetes everywhere – they tended  vineyards and made wine as their earthly vocation. While the Romans had first planted vines and made wine in Gaul, it was the Cistercians who perfected viticulture and winemaking into an art form that, as practiced in Burgundy, continues to enchant epicures throughout the world.

Vougeot is sandwiched in between Chambolle-Musigny on the north and Flagey-Echezeaux to the south. With only 66.02 hectares of vines, Vougeot is quite the smallest commune in the Cote-d’Or, but due largely to the efforts of the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin, the Château du Clos de Vougeot is itself emblematic of Burgundy and Vougeot is one of the best known names in the wine world.

The appellation of Vougeot is clearly dominated by the Grand Cru Clos de Vougeot, which, at  50.59 hectares, comprises over 75% of the vineyards, of which there are over 80 different owners.  Within Vougeot, there are also 11.68  hectares of Premier Cru vinyards: Les Cras, Les Petits Vougeots and Clos Blanc de Vougeot.  Finally, there are 4.82 hectares of village-level vineyards.

 Distinguished producers of Vougeot include Domaine de la Vougeraie, Gros Frère et Soeur, Meo-Camuzet, Domaine Leroy and Domaine de Montille.

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Clos des Epeneaux: This  5.23-hectare Premier Cru climat is a monopole of the Domaine Comte Armand in the Burgundy appellation of Pommard. A walled vineyard generally square in shape, Clos des Epeneaux stradles two other Premier Cru climats, Les Grands Epenots and Les Petits Epenots, each of which contributes land to the Clos between them. Les Grands Epenots and Les Petits Epenots begin at the northern boundary of Pommard the commune with Beaune, and continue upslope of the RN 73 as it forks from the RN 74 just south of Beaune. Clos des Epeneaux faces south, southeast and the stony, well-drained soil is composed of clay-limestone colluvium over a limestone base. The vineyard lies at an altitude of about 250 meters above sea level. 

The name Epeneaux suggests the presence of buissons epineux, the spiny bushes that once grew there.

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Les Pézerolles: This 5.91-hectare Premier Cru climat  in Pommard lies just above Les Petits Epenots, northeast of the village of Pommard, toward Beaune.  At an altitude of 260-280 meters, the vineyard faces south, southeast. The soil is stony clay-limestone over a limestone base.

The vineyard name derives from the surname of one of the old families of Pommard.

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Les Rugiens: This 12.66-hectare Premier Cru climat in Pommard,  is comprised of two subclimats:   the 5.83-hectare Les Rugiens-Bas and the 6.83-hectare Les Rugiens-Hauts. Les Rugiens begins near the summit of Pommard’s slope, at an altitude of nearly 320 meters, just south of the village, and drops downhill steeply to about 260 meters. The rocky soil is comprised of  ferruginous clay-limestone colluvium over a limestone base. There is a considerable difference in quality between the wines that derive from Les Rugiens-Bas and those that derive from Les Rugiens-Haut. Camille Rodier classified Les Rugiens-Bas  and Les Epenots among the tête de Cuvées. By general consensus today, the wines of Les Rugiens-Bas are of true Grand Cru quality and merit promotion.

“Rugiens” recalls the red soil of the Les Rugiens-Bas caused by the high proportion of iron oxide.

The most distinguished Pommard Les Rugiens is made by the Domaine de Montille.

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Les Petits Epenots: This 19.76-hectare Premier Cru climat in Pommard, together with Les Grands Epenots (10.76 hectares),  comprises the Premier Cru lieu-dit, Les Epenots. Each climat is in turn composed of two parcels. Les Petits Epenots is situated along Pommard’s northern boundary with Beaune, upslope of the RN 73 as it forks from the RN 74 just south of Beaune.  At an altitude of 240-260 meters, the vineyard faces south, southeast and the stony, well-drained soil is composed of clay-limestone colluvium over a limestone base.

The name Epenots dervives suggests the onetime presence of buissons epineux, the spiny bushes that once grew there.

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Les Grands Epenots: This 10.76-hectare  Premier Cru climat, combined together with the 19.76-hectare Les Petits Epenots, comprises the Premier Cru lieu-dit, Les Epenots, situated in the Pommard appellation.  Each climat is in turn composed of two parcels. Les Grands Epenots is situated adjacent to Les Petits Epenots, on the Volnay side, along the RN 73. At an altitude of 240-260 meters, the vineyard faces south, southeast and the stony, well-drained soil is composed of clay-limestone colluvium over a limestone base. 

The name Epenots dervives from onetime presence of buissons epineux, the spiny bushes that grew in the fields there.

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Les Epenots: This Premier Cru lieu-dit, located in the commune and appellation of Pommard,  is comprised of two separate Premier Cru climats, Les Grands Epenots (10.76 hectares) and Les Petits Epenots  (19.76 hectares), each of which is, in turn, comprised of two parcels. Portions of each climat are included within the monopole Clos des Epeneaux (5.23 hectares), also a Premier Cru climat. When blended across the two vineyards, only the Epenots designation is used; when not, Grands– or Petits– is prefixed. Les Epenots is by far the largest of Pommard’s Premiers Crus, covering 30.52 hectares and is generally considered, along with Les Rugiens, to be one of the two finest. Les Epenots begins at the northern boundary of the commune with Beaune, and continues upslope of the RN 73 as it forks from the RN 74 just south of Beaune. At an altitude of 240-260 meters, the vineyard faces south, southeast and the stony, well-drained soil is composed of clay-limestone mix over a limestone base.  The name “Epenots” dervives from onetime presence of buissons epineux, the spiny bushes that once grew there in the fields.

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Les Brouillards: This 5.63 hectare Premier Cru climat  of lies in the northern sector of Volnay adjacent to the border with Pommard. Les Brouillards is situated on the east side of RN73, just north of Les Mitans. Facing east, southeast from an elevation of 250-260 meters, the vineyard, rockier in the upper portion of the vineyard with deeper soil down below, exhibits less limestone with a loose covering of shale.

The name suggests that in ancient times the site was a dense and marshy thicket.

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Les Champans:  This 11.19 hectare Premier Cru climat  lies south of the village of Volnay, downhill from Les Taillepieds, southeast of the RN 73. Facing east, southeast from on a moderately steep slope varying between 250-280 meters, the clay-limestone soil  is shallow and rocky. Good sources of Les Champans include Domaine de Montille and Marquis d’Angerville.

The name derives from the local description for a sloping field.

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