The community appellation is located at the northern end of the Côte de Beaune (Côte d'Or) in the French region of Burgundy. Vineyards are first mentioned here in 696. Like many Burgundian communes, Aloxe added the most famous vineyard name to its name in 1862 and this is the famous historic vineyard Corton. It is wooded on its top, but is planted with vines on its western, eastern and southern flank. Emperor Charlemagne (742-814) donated the upper part of the mountain to Saint-Andoche Abbey in Saulieu in 775 as compensation for destruction by the Saracens. It remained in their possession until 1660. The Corton vineyard covers some 280 hectares of vines and extends over three villages: Aloxe-Corton, Pernand-Vergelesses and Ladoix-Serrigny. It is divided into two (three) Grand Cru sites and 14 Premier Cru sites. The white wines are made from Chardonnay, the red wines from Pinot Noir, with possibly shares of Pinot Liébault and Pinot Beurot(Pinot Gris).
The Grand Cru Corton-Charlemagne vineyard, named in honour of the Franconian Emperor Charles, applies exclusively to white wines. The more than 50 hectares of vines lie in a narrow band at the top of the Corton mountain and extend from Ladoix-Serrigny in the west of the mountain via Aloxe-Corton to Pernand-Vergelesses. According to legend, white vines were planted here at the instigation of Hildegard (wife of Charlemagne) because she was displeased with the red wine stains in her husband's beard. The climate here is somewhat cooler and especially the much brighter, almost chalky white soil is very different from Corton. The white wines are made from Chardonnay with some Pinot Blanc. Another Grand-Cru site called Charlemagne for white wine is almost identical to Corton-Charlemagne in terms of area, but is hardly ever used.
The Grand Cru Corton is valid for red wines and white wines, it is the only one for red wines in the Côte de Beaune area. It also extends into the Ladoix-Serrigny and Pernand-Vergelesses districts. The red wine is produced from Pinot Noir with small proportions of Pinot Gris and Pinot Liébault. In small quantities, white wine is also produced from Chardonnay. The vineyard area is over 90 hectares on reddish marl soil on an iron and limestone plate. The area is divided into 20 sub-areas, which are allowed to add their name to Corton, but this is not claimed in principle. These are Les Bressandes, Le Charlemagne, Les Chaumes, Les Chaumes et la Voierosse, Les Combes, Le Corton, Les Fiètres, Les Grèves, Les Languettes, Les Maréchaudes, Les Meix, Les Meix Lallemand, Les Paulands, Les Perrières, Les Pougets, Les Renardes, Le Rognet-Corton, Le Clos de Roi, Les Vergennes and La Vigne au Saint.
The Premier Cru sites cover 40 hectares of vineyards. They are called Clos des Maréchaudes, Clos du Chapître (Les Meix), La Coutière, La Maréchaude, La Toppe au Vert, Les Chaillots, Les Fournières, Les Guérets, Les Maréchaudes, Les Moutottes, Les Paulands, Les Petites Lolières, Les Vazolières and Les Vercots. The wines from the Grand Cru and Premier Cru sites account for more than half of them. The rest is marketed under the Aloxe-Corton Village Appellation. Well-known producers in the AOC Aloxe-Corton are Arnoux, Bichot, Bonneau du Martray, Bouchard Père et Fils, Chapuis, Coche-Dury, Delarche, Domaine Leroy, Dubreuil-Fontaine, Faiveley, Hospices de Beaune, Jadot, Louis Latour, Prieur, Remoissenet, Tollot-Beaut and Verget.