Following the Route des Grands Crus through Chambolle Musigny heading south, just in front of the imposing domaine of vigneron Jacques Frederic Mugnier, the road turns sharply to the left, with the restaurant Le Millisime on the right hand side, and Hotel Château André Ziltner on the left.
After a few more meters the Church of L’Eglise Sainte-Barbe appears, and on the other side of the road, the Tilleul (Lime Tree), planted in the reign of Henri IV.
The L’Eglise Sainte-Barbe was completed in 1506 under the direction of Jean Moisson, a wealthy vine owner and ancestor of the De Vogüé family, who still make wine in Chambolle today.
Leaving Chambolle the road winds slowly down towards the Route National, with a vista of Château Vougeot opening up on the right hand side.
We have approached Vougeot along the Route des Grands Crus from the North. However the Château’s Founding Fathers, the Cistercians, came from 12 km to the east, where they had established Citeaux Abbey. The land surrounding Citeaux was low lying and marshy, not suitable for vines. So following the Vouge river upstream, the new Order acquired some land on the slopes of the Côte, that is now known as Clos de Vougeot. Around 1160 a press house was constructed, and in 1336 the vineyard took the form that it bears today. In 1551 the Château was constructed, affording guest rooms for the Abbott and principal visitors
For the history of Citeaux and Vougeot see the Guide ‘Of Monks and Wine’.
Inside the château, a limited visit is possible – the enormous medieval wine presses, the kitchen, and the monk’s dormitory, which has been turned into a cinema for viewings of films produced by the Confrérie des Chevalier du Tastevin. It is a shame that the upper parts of the main château are only open for particular events, for the rooms and the grands cheminées of the first floor are magnificent.
Fresco L'Eglise Sainte-Barbe