The building that you can see through the gate is the Manoir de La Perrière. It sits majestically above the village of Fixin, 3km from Gevrey Chambertin. It was built by the Cistercian monks in about 1140, probably to save them travelling daily from the vines back to their abbey at Cîteaux, a distance of some 20km. This was just after the time that Stephen Harding (d 1134) from Dorset UK was the fourth Abbé of Cîteaux. Stephen was a great organizer, and along with Bernard of Clairevaux, played a significant role in the spread of the Cistercian order across the entire western world.
The vines that can be seen in front of the Manoir are a monopole of Pierre Gelin, known as ‘Clos Napoleon’. Just above the Clos is the Parc Noisot, created in memory of Napoleon by his trusted lieutenant Noisot. To commemorate Napoleon’s return to power in 1815, Noisot created a series of steps that lead steeply up the escarpment – there are 100 in total, one step for each day of the Restoration. There is a circular walk that takes you up the steps, along the top of the Cote, and back down behind the Manoir – it takes about 1.5 hours, and from the top there are beautiful views over the plain of the river Saône towards the Alps in the far distance.