The French region of Burgundy offers the best conditions for pressing high-quality red wines. The individual layers carry the addition Grand Cru, provided it is a first-class wine. The Domaine de la Romanée-Conti winery, which has its own appellation, also has such a designation. The wine produced there is considered one of the most expensive drops in the world. His prominence extends far beyond the borders of France.
The story behind the great success
As early as the 13th century, Benedictine monks planted the first vines: they called them Le Cloux des Cinq Journaux. After the sale in the 16th century, the property of the Roman Catholic Church changed to private ownership by various owners.
The name of the estate goes back to the Prince of Conti. After the expropriation that took place after the French Revolution, the winery received its name, which is known today.
The de Villaine family inherited the estate in the 19th century and sold half of it to their friends, the Leroy family. To this day, both families continue to run the business, with Aubert de Villaine remaining at the helm since 1974. He has been working hand in hand with his nephew Bertrand de Villaine since 2009.
The winegrower grows these types of wine
Today, the winemaker and his helpers produce around 7,500 bottles of delicious red wine every year, which comes from the old vines with a very high plant density and is the secret of the first-class quality that rightly bears the nickname Grand Cru.
The special thing is that only the Pinot Noir grape variety is grown: the former region of Burgundy is the home of Pinot Noir and has provided the best conditions for winegrowing for over 2000 years. Cool locations with limestone soil and a good water supply are ideal conditions for the king of red wines. The Romanée Conti winegrower, who specializes in this exquisite type of wine, knows this too. The wine is fermented in open wine vats from 1862 and then stored unfiltered for many years. This process contributes to an unmistakable taste and provides the characteristic bouquet of violets, cherries or fresh mushrooms from the forest.
Interesting facts about the place
The winery is located in the small community of Vosne-Romanée in Burgundy, which has no more than 350 inhabitants (as of 2022) and is less than 20 kilometers from Dijon, which is known for its famous mustard. The region around the municipality of Vosne-Romanée stands for its exceptional vineyards and gourmets.
The size of the growing area
The very high-quality Pinot Noir grows on around 25 hectares of cultivated land. Around 1.81 hectares relate to the Romanée-Conti monopoly site and around six hectares to the La Tâche monopoly site. Other Grand Cru sites owned by the owner are Richebourg with around 3.5 hectares, Romanée-Saint-Vivant with around 4.7 hectares and Échezeaux and Grand Échezeaux with around 3.5 hectares.
The latter are located in the commune of Flagey-Echézeaux. There are other small portions of individual layers with a size of less than one hectare.
Features and anecdotes
The wine-growing region can be found in the small municipality of Vosne-Romanée, which was not always called that: it was not until 1866 that the nickname Romanée was added to the place name Vosne. This makes the region's industry visible in the early years: the community gained worldwide fame through the cultivation of vines for high-quality products.
The red wine from Burgundy is occasionally subject to forgeries that are difficult to unmask. In 2020, the business of a Cologne dealer was uncovered, who relabelled wine bottles and sold them as wines from the house of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti. This affected the years 2004 to 2007, which were sold for a total of 300,000 euros. A special analysis revealed that only two of the 36 wine bottles were real.
This shows that the wines are highly traded by the owner in Burgundy and increase in value over time. It is not uncommon for a single bottle of wine to cost 10,000 euros or more.