The village of Vosne-Romanée was mentioned as early as the 6th century and was known as Vanona which means Forest. In AD 890 the priory of Saint-Vivant was established and soon started attracting vineyards as gifts, most notably the 1.8 hectares that would become Romanée-Conti, from Alix de Vergy in 1232.
The Croonembourg family purchased the land along with neighbouring La Tache in 1631 and they renamed it Romanée for reasons that remain unknown to this day. André de Croonembourg put the family holdings up for sale in 1760; this sparked a bidding war that was eventually won by Louis Francois, Prince de Conti who beat Madame de Pompadour, Louis XV’s mistress to the prized estate. La Tache and Romanée-St-Vivant passed into private hands. Despite losing all his lands during the revolution, The Prince’s lasting legacy was naming the vineyard Romanée-Conti.
In 1869 the estate of Romanée-Conti was purchased by Jacques-Marie Duvalt-Blochet who started to create the Domaine as we know it today making acquisitions in Echezeaux, Grands Echezeaux and Richebourg. After changing hands a few times the domaine today is owned by his heirs the de Villaine family. Edmond Guidon de Villaine sold half his shares to friend and financier Henri Leroy in 1942 and due to the complicated Burgundian succession laws a number of members of both families own shares in Domaine de la Romainée-Conti today under the Co-Directorship of Aubert de Villaine and Henri-Frederic Roch.
The Vineyards owned by DRC are grouped around the village of Vosne-Romanée and occupy slopes that face to the east and south-east. The soil is iron-rich and contains limestone on a bed of rock and marlstone. Yields are often low due to pruning and removal of any substandard grapes prior to the harvest. The vineyards of La Tache and Grand Echezeaux have even started to embrace biodynamic practices.
Often referred to in Burgundy as ‘The Domaine’, DRC produces only Grand Cru wines. These, especially the monopoles of Romanée-Conti and La Tache are considered amongst the best wines in the world and due to their scarcity command very high prices.
• Vineyard Size – 6.06 hectares under vine
• 100% Pinot Noir
• Average production – 1,870 cases per year
Until 1932 DRC owned the vineyards of Les Gaudichots which neighboured La Tache until they applied for the vinyards to merge. Although Liger-Belair, owner of La Tache, was against this, the vineyards were merged and following his death auctioned off with DRC assuming full monopole status.
La Tache often rates second only to Romanée-Conti amongst its neighbouring wines and is consistently very good even during poorer years in Burgundy. A generally flamboyant wine, La Tache often takes considerably longer to mature than other DRC wines.