Clos de Vougeot – The Headquarters or Center of Burgundy Wine

The Clos de Vougeot vineyard is located in the Cote d’ Or area which is the most popular part of Burgundy, France. This wall-enclosed vineyard was named after River Vouge, which is only a stream separating the village Vougeot from Chambolle-Musigny. Despite being a tourist magnet, Clos de Vougeot is authentic and easy to visit unlike most Burgundy estates. The 12th-century Clos de Vougeot is the birthplace of the wine tradition in Burgundy. It served as the flagship vineyard of the Cistercians, and has been a highly recognized name for centuries.  Clos de Vougeot is a medieval chateau and serves as the headquarters of the Chevaliers du Tastevin, the famous Burgundian wine society.  It is the largest single vineyard in Cote de Nuits that is entitled to the Grand Cru designation.

The wines of Clos de Vougeot became famous when the Cistercians tended the entire vineyard and produced the wine. In producing Clos de Vougeot, the Cistercians first produced cuvées from the different parts of the vineyard, and then blended them to produce a high-class wine. Typically, wine from the top and middle parts would be used, and only occasionally would the bottom part be used for the final Clos de Vougeot wine. Wine from lower down the slope can be better in dry years, so this blending practice allowed the production of a wine that should have been consistent in quality.

There is a fine museum with changing art exhibits. Situated on ground level, the cellar and the vat house are both models of architecture and form a cloister around a small central courtyard with four enormous oak wine presses, used by the Cistercian monks. Part of the vat house dates from the twelfth century; others date from earlier centuries.  It was classified as a national monument in 1949 and opened to the general public.

Located just north of Dijon, Clos de Vougeot is offered as an excursion on several deluxe and ultra- deluxe barges offering French canal cruises in the Burgundy region of France.  The six passenger Après Tout and Fleur de Lys both offer wine tasting and visit to the chateau on this French barge cruise.