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What is Le Montrachet?

Le Montrachet is a vineyard of grands crus located in the south of the Côte de Beaune and widely considered the best in the world for Chardonnay. It is located on the mid-slope of the Montrachet hill, above the villages of Puligny and Chassagne-Montrachet, covering the lands of both communes. Its wines, considered the ultimate expression of Chardonnay, are rich and structured and can sell for thousands of dollars a bottle.

 

  • The vineyards of Montrachet

The vineyard is located in the middle of the five grands crus of the hill. Chevalier-Montrachet is located on the hillside, while Bâtard-Montrachet covers the lower slopes. Montrachet is the second largest of the five sites, covering about 9 hectares, and is divided by the boundary between Puligny-Montrachet and its southern neighbour, Chassagne-Montrachet. Unusually, this division is actually visible in the way the vines of Le Montrachet are planted - the Chassagne section follows an east-west orientation, while the vines on the Puligny side extend from north to south.

Le Montrachet occupies a privileged position on the hill. The vines are perfectly orientated to the south-east, which gives them such an important exposure to the sun for the maturation process. The slope of the vineyard, as well as the stony limestone soils, also provide excellent water management, allowing excess water to run off freely but retaining enough for the vines to remain hydrated. The vines will grow deep roots in the limestone to access this water, making it strong and healthy, while contributing to the eventual flavour of the wine.

 

  • The Story

The first mention of Montrachet dates back to the 13th century, when the site was given to the local Benedictine abbey. It grew in glory and prestige over the centuries and was confiscated and sold during the French Revolution. At the end of the 19th century, Puligny and Chassagne added Montrachet to the name of their village, as was the custom at the time: Gevrey-Chambertin, Chambolle-Musigny and Vosne-Romanée did the same. Montrachet became an appellation in 1937, about the same time as most other great vineyards grand cru from Burgundy.

 

  • The best producers of Montrachet

Today, the "Le Montrachet" vineyard has several owners producing some of the most famous white wines in the world. Bouchard Père et Fils and Domaine de la Romanée-Conti have plots in the vineyard. Domaine Leflaive and Joseph Drouhin produce some of Montrachet's most prestigious and sought-after wines.

 

Find also our article on the blog ► THE GREATEST WINES OF MONTRACHET ◄

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