Corton-Charlemagne Le Charlemagne

charlemagne-2014

Parcelle(s)

Corton-Charlemagne
Geographical situation: steep parcel.
Surface: 0,2183 ha
Exposure: South-facing.
Plantings: 1954-55, 1957-58, 1989-90.

The destiny of this vineyard, a gift from the emperor Charlemagne to the Canons of the Collegiate of Saint-Andoche at Saulieu, in 775, was truly exceptional in that it remained in the hands of this religious community for over 1000 years. Chardonnay reigns supreme. On its journey across the palate it is elevated and accomplished, with body and bouquet melting together superbly. Smooth and dry, firm yet gentle, deep and structured, this is a wine of undeniable character and grace.

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Vines

Geographical situation: To the south of la Montagne de Corton, between Nuits-Saint-Georges and Beaune, this steep sun-drenched plot hugs the hillside between Aloxe-Corton and Pernand-Vergelesses, at an altitude between 250 and 320 metres.
Grape variety: 100 % Chardonnay
Soil and subsoil: silicic soil, very calcareous, silty and very pebbly (white soil). GEST* compost.
Planting density: 10 000 vines / ha
Yield: 47,37 hl / ha
Rootstock: 60 % of massal selection and 40 % of clones.
Pest management since 1995
Organic agriculture: since 1998. Received official approval in 1999
Bio-dynamic agriculture since the 2001 campaign.
Horse ploughing
Training: Guyot
Vineyard news: Earthing-up of the vines in winter. Spraying of nettle and rhubarb, horsetail, yarrow, tansy, comfrey tea during each treatment. Biodynamic preparation of 500 and 501 at the end of the winter and of 501 in spring before the flower. Suckers removed in spring.

* Groupement d'Etude et de Suivi des Terroirs

History

To obtain the favours of the Church, Charlemagne donated his vineyard in Corton to the Collegiate of Saint-Andoche at Saulieu. Justly so, as the land had in fact been despoiled by his grandfather Charles Martel! The Clos Charlemagne, as it was formerly known, remained in the hands of the  Collegiate until the French Revolution, when in 1791-92 national property was sold off.

As Claude Chapuis puts it, Charlemagne became “the most popular historical figure in Corton”, and his emblem, a two-headed eagle, is included on the shields of the villages of Aloxe and Pernand.

Charlemagne was sometimes known as the Emperor with the Flowery Beard. As legend has it, this nickname arose because he often drank his red wine with such enthusiasm that it spilled from the cup and coloured his long beard, until finally his wife nagged him into planting this vineyard with white grapes. To this day, Corton-Charlemagne remains white.


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