The patron saint of Burgundy’s winemakers is Saint Vincent. Why he is the Patron Saint of wine making in Burgundy is now lost in the mists of time – he came to a grisly end in the 4c at the hands of the Romans in Northern Spain for refusing to renounce his beliefs.
However every third weekend in January, a procession takes place in a different village in Burgundy, when a statue of Saint Vincent is paraded around the village, and thanks is given for St Vincent’s patronage. This year the event took place in Vougeot and Gilly-Les-Citeaux, villages associated with the commencement of wine making in Burgundy by the Cistercian monks. The Cistercian Order was founded at Citeaux in 1098 by disillusioned Benedictine monks, including Stephen Harding from Dorset. Stephen became the third Abbé of Citeaux, and together with Bernard of Clairevaux, is credited as being largely responsible for the spread of the Cistercian Order throughout Western Europe. It was these early Cistercian monks who cleared the area that is now known as Clos de Vougeot and planted it out with vines.