As we have discussed previously, we absolutely love wine! Part of what we enjoy sharing with our guests aboard the Grand Victoria is a passion for wine tasting and pairing with our fresh meals on board. It’s a significant part of the culinary experience during a barge cruise! On board, we feature various Premier Cru and Grand Cru wines for meals; we also highlight various local producers in our various excursions throughout the week.
One of our favorite places to visit is the historic Clos de Vougeot in the Côte de Nuits. Nestled in the sloped hills between Dijon and Beaune, this vineyard has been producing some of Burgundy’s foremost wines since the 12th century! Over their 900 year history, they have mastered the art of Burgundy wine-making. The vineyard was initially built from lands donated to local Cistercian monks of the nearby Citeaux Abbey, which remains a Roman-Catholic institution to this day.
The vineyard, however, was sold to private buyers during the French Revolution, after all vineyards were taken from the church by the state, and has passed through several hands in the intervening two hundred years. Today, the vineyard and the castle on the property, Château du Clos de Vougeot, is owned by an organization called the Friends of the Château du Clos de Vougeot, and is leased to the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin. The vineyards are divided amongst numerous small producers.
While the Cistercians once blended a single, high-quality wine from grapes throughout the vineyard, today’s producers are more individualized and unique. The Clos de Vougeot label encompasses a wide variety of wines that vary between producers due to the numerous small owners and the mixed geology of the Clos. The best wines are dense and robust in their youth, but mature in the cellar into a complete wine emblematic of the best Burgundy has to offer. Since every Clos de Vougeot producer inside the walls is within the AOC, every wine is entitled the Grand Cru designation for their label; this leads Clos de Vougeot to be one of the more variable of the Grand Cru wines in the region.
The Clos de Vougeot is but one of the wine producers we visit on our luxury river cruises in Burgundy. If this kind of experience interests you, we'd love to share this experience with you! Contact us today!