The two faces of a single terroir

Vougeot Premier Cru Le Clos Blanc de Vougeot Monopole and Clos Vougeot Grand Cru
A thousand-year-old heritage handed down to the Domaine de la Vougeraie.

The story began at the end of the 11th century in the year 1098 when the Abbey of Cîteaux was founded. The first written mention of vines being grown here was in 1110 with respect to the Clos Blanc.

The Clos Vougeot covers 50 hectares, and the Clos Blanc, just two. Beneath a thin layer of brown earth that is high in limestone covering the triangle of the Clos Blanc, one can find the vestiges of Roman houses. The Clos Vougeot on the other hand has darker brown soil that becomes heavier with clay the higher up one goes.

The two emblematic vines from the Domaine de la Vougeraie would be touching if they weren’t both surrounded by the stone walls, or clos, that gives them their names. Between the walls is a little road going down to the village. It runs alongside the northern part of the grand cru, opposite the southern part of the premier cru. A few meters make all the difference. While the monks always grew the forerunners of the Chardonnay grape in what they called Le Petit Clos Blanc de Cîteaux, or La Vigne Blanche, for their wine for mass, the Clos Vougeot has always been red.

Two different soil types, two colors, and two worlds! Triumphant for the white, surrounded by a sea of red, never swallowed up by the scarlet tide of the Côte de Nuits. The only historical white vines of this purple hillside, and never divided up, meaning that it has enjoyed monopole status since its AOC was granted in 1935. It has preserved its primary shape, and is bordered on its bottom edge by another Vougeot premier cru, Les Cras.

The two Clos were sold as national property during the French Revolution, but the Clos Vougeot was divided up and now has 83 different owners. It is perhaps the most famous among Burgundy’s 24 red grand cru wines. The Clos Blanc offers the golden hue and tension of a wine comparable to no other, oscillating between the minerality of a Chablis and the smoothness of a Meursault. Clos Vougeot captures all the subtlety of Pinot Noir, with deep flavors of red berries in its youth, concentration and finesse. Both wines are full of character.

They share the same terroir, yet are quite distinct. United by the Cistercian spirit, bathed in monastic light, these two vineyards offer two very different faces, and act as a living homage to these monks. These are the mythical and mystical wines of the Domaine de la Vougeraie.