The Côte de Nuits, region of the Grands Crus
The history of the Côte de Nuits merges with that of Burgundy. The region was first developed by the monks of Cîteaux. Very present in the local viticulture of the time, they owned the famous Clos de Vougeot. Later on, the production area witnessed an increase in its notoriety thanks to Napoleon. The emperor swore by Chambertin. An exceptional wine which, with the Chambertin-Clos-de-Bèze, is a masterpiece of Burgundy's wine heritage. Dating from 630, they are among the oldest of the Burgundian climates.
The "Champs-Elysées" of Burgundy
The reputation of the appellations of the Côte de Nuits is firmly established. Some have even gone so far as to name this exceptional terroir the Champs-Elysées of the Bourgogne winegrowing region.
The vineyard of the Côte de Nuits extends over about 20 kilometers, representing an area of 1500 hectares, from Marsannay to Nuits-Saint-Georges. The vines grow on a narrow strip of slopes, sometimes only 200 to 300 meters wide. The soils come from the uplift, during the Tertiary period, of the old granitic base and its sedimentary cover of marine origin. Then, they were subjected to a slow erosion during the ice age, benefiting today from a dominant limestone and marl.
The presence of numerous valleys gives personality to the region. If the hillsides are essentially composed of limestone scree and red silt, the plains are mainly composed of clay and limestone conglomerates. The communes of Gevrey-Chambertin and Fixin are, as for them, famous for their marls. The climate here is oceanic with a semi-continental influence. Winters are harsh and rainfall is frequent in autumn. A great diversity of terroirs which strongly contributes to the typicity of the wines.
The region of the Grands Crus
In the 18th century, the wines of the Côte de Nuits were light, almost pink in color and to be drunk young. They then gained in power, tannic structure and alcohol content to concentrate, at present, on balance and fruitiness. The vineyard benefits from a great wealth of appellations and grands crus, with prestigious wines from Chambertin, Echezeaux, Romanée or Vougeot. Renowned for its red wines, it also produces highly sought-after white wines. Thanks to its terroir and the appropriate use of Pinot Noir, Gamay, Chardonnay and Aligoté grapes, the Côte de Nuits has naturally become the Mecca of the Grands Crus of the Côte d'Or region.
These vines are cultivated on two plateaus between 300-400m above sea level.
This wine region, which almost fell into disuse at one point, has led a patient and courageous campaign for survival. As such, the Hautes Côtes de Nuits has enjoyed a veritable renaissance since the 1950s. Back then, the region’s winemakers selected the slopes that would produce the best grapes. As on the Côte de Nuits, they planted Pinot Noir for reds and Chardonnay for the whites, which covered around 20 communes in the hinterland of the Côte.
Over the past few decades, the winemakers have been dedicated to producing high quality vines. And their work has borne fruit. Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Nuits wines are today recognized as wines of character. With their purple or ruby color, these reds have body, while the whites are gold in color with a lively and balanced structure.