« Pour une telle rêverie condensée en une substance aimée, aimée d’un amour parlant…Qu’est-ce-que le vin? C’est un corps vivant où se tiennent en équilibre les esprits les plus divers, les esprits volants et les esprits pondérés, conjonction d’un ciel et d’un terroir. » Gaston Bachelard
Burgundian viticulture has been active since the 3rd century AD. Cistercian monks played a major role in the selection and development of the varietal Pinot Noir based on a notion of equilibrium between the plant and the soil. Monks from the Bèze Abbey and, later, from Cluny planted vines and the history of wine production at Gevrey-Chambertin begins.
Today, Gevrey-Chambertin has the largest vineyard acreage in the Cote de Nuits and the largest number of Grand Crus. The clay-limestone soil is the basis of the village’s terroir.
The village’s famous wines have now earned it an international reputation. The French poet Gaston Roupnel described Le Chambertin as “a blend of grace, generosity, and power.”
Burgundy is perhaps unique in the diversity of its terroirs, which give wines which can be very different from one parcel to the next. The term “terroir” refers to an effect of climate, soil and subsoil altogether. In Burgundy, the individual parcels of hillside vineyard are referred to as ‘climat’s, (Les climats de Bourgogne).
The classification is very important, particularly in the ageing of wines. The higher a wine is in this hierarchy, the better the ageing potential.
The influence of the vintage is felt perhaps nowhere more strongly than in Burgundy. This is because the Pinot noir is the varietal with the most finesse; it reacts to nature’s constraints with the greatest sensitivity in this terroir of choice.