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Domaine de la Romanée Conti

France Burgundy

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Probably the most famous wine estate in French Burgund is located in the municipality of Vosne-Romanée north of Nuits-Saint-Georges in the Côte de Nuits part of the Côte d’Or Today, the domaine includ...

Probably the most famous wine estate in French Burgundy is located in the municipality of Vosne-Romanée north of Nuits-Saint-Georges in the Côte de Nuits part of the Côte d'Or. Today, the domaine includes the best vineyards in the municipality; the vineyards cover around 25 hectares. These are the Grand-Crus La Tâche and (the eponymous) Romanée-Conti as well as parts of the Grand-Crus Richebourg and Romanée-Saint-Vivant (but not the Grand-Cru site La Romanée ). The estate also owns the Grand Cru sites Echézeaux and Grands Echézeaux in the municipality of Flagey-Echézeaux, as well as parts of the Grand Cru site Le Montrachet (see under Montrachet). Incidentally, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti is the only exception to the rule in Burgundy that a vineyard may not be named after a site.

Grand Cru Lage Romanée-Conti in Vosne-Romanée

First vineyard by Benedictines

In the mid-13th century, the Benedictines planted the first vineyards in the commune of Vosne-Romanée and named it "Le Cloux des Cinq Journeaux". Until 1584, the vineyard was owned by the Roman Catholic Church, then it changed hands several times. In 1760, Louis-François de Bourbon (a Prince de Conti) acquired it, but it was not named Romanée-Conti until 1794, after the expropriation during the French Revolution. Towards the end of the 19th century, the le Villaine family inherited the estate. In 1942, the Villaine family sold half of the estate to the friendly Leroy family, and in 1950 Henri Leroy became the second managing director. He also kept his trading company Leroy S.A., which took over the exclusive distribution of DRC wines. His daughter took over the management in 1974 together with Aubert de Villaine (*1939). Due to long disputes, she left in 1992 and founded the famous Domaine Leroy in Meursault.

Secret of quality

The most famous vineyard, Romanée-Conti, is only 1.8 hectares in size. It is consistently cultivated according to the guidelines of biodynamic viticulture. The soil consists of brown limestone marl with a thin layer of humus. The current vines were planted in 1945. Around 7,000 bottles of red wine are produced here every year. The wine is made from pure Pinot Noir; the best vintages need decades of storage. Grapes from three vines are needed for one bottle of DRC wine. The secret of quality, however, is based on many facts. These include the great age of the vines, extreme planting density with 10,000 vines/ha, rigorous thinning, strictest control of the grapes, yields of only 25 hl/ha, maceration in old wooden vats from 1862, no filtration and new barriques for ageing every year.

One of the most expensive wines in the world

Domaine de la Romanée-Conti is one of the best and most expensive wines in the world. For ten-year-old vintages, you have to spend at least $ 1,500, which are constantly increasing in value. Until 1989, all wines from the Domaine were only released in closed batches (12-pack). So you only got one (only) Romanée-Conti if you accepted eleven other bottles. The famous English writer and novelist Roald Dahl (1916-1990) characterised the wine effusively with the words "Taste it! Drink it! But never try to describe it. Impossible to do justice to such a pleasure with words." The Indonesian wine merchant known as "Dr Conti", Rudy Kurniawan, sold fake wines as old vintages of Romanée-Conti and was sentenced to ten years in prison.

Image: By Renzo Grosso - Trabalho Próprio / My own, CC BY 3.0, Link

Domaine de la Romanée Conti Region: France Burgundy
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