The kings of France always served Beaune wines at their tables, taken from their own cellars. They were broad-minded, as there are Clos du Roi (King’s Enclosures) as far afield as Chenôve and Aloxe-Corton. These prestigious enclosures generally came from land confiscated from the Dukes of Burgundy when the province was reunited with France after the death of Charles the Reckless.
The Clos du Roi at Beaune is often mentioned in royal decrees and edicts. For example, the decree of June 21st, 1723 which ordered “the sale and adjudication of the Clos du Roi in Beaune as a covenant and with a perpetual redemption option”. This monopole (single owner) vineyard was cultivated and vinified by the people of Beaune, who delivered casks and baskets of bottles to Court at Versailles.
No Burgundy wine has bluer blood. Louis XIV reportedly came into this world after his mother, Queen Anne of Austria, who had been sterile for twenty-three years, consulted a Beaune nun, Marguerite Parigot (1619-1648). After this miracle, the Church declared Sister Marguerite of the Blessed Sacrament to be Venerable. The Sun King appreciated Beaune wine, and made several pilgrimages to the town.
Whereas cras, chaille or cailleret in Burgundy refer to pebbly soil, gravains, gravières and grèves (from the Latin word grava, gravel) mean a more sandy soil, ideal for wine growing.
Vines have been planted here since Gallo-Roman days. The town’s vines are mentioned in the oldest description of Burgundy vineyards, written by Eumenes in 312 A.D. Part of Les Grèves long belonged to the Carmelite order. The cult of the Christ Child at Beaune was started by a Carmelite nun, Marguerite Parigot (1619-1648), whom Anne of Austria reportedly consulted shortly before conceiving Louis XIV after 23 years of sterility.