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Wine By Region Right Europe Right France Right Burgundy Right Côte de Nuits Right Vosne-Romanée Right La Grande Rue   Richebourg   La Romanée   Romanée-Conti   Romanée-St-Vivant   La Tâche

Often called the best winemaking village in the Côte de Nuits, Vosne-Romanée certainly has the best Grands Crus of any Burgundy village. There is the famous Romanée-Conti, the home of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti's extraordinary flagship cuvée, the runner-up monopole of the same name (La Tâche) and four other Grands Crus which also have great magnitude and importance in the wine world.

The Grands Crus of Vosne-Romanée are considered some of the best red wines in the world, up there with wines such as the first growths of Bordeaux like Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château Haut-Brion, and Château Margaux, Pomerol stunners such as Château Pétrus, prime-time Italian cuvées such as Solaia, great Barolos, and Gaja Sperss, and top Napa Cabernets such as Harlan Estate, Dalla Valle, and Screaming Eagle. For those who love Pinot Noir, Vosne-Romanée is the place to be, as even its Premiers Crus reflect the style that's considered the best way to make the Pinot grape. Within Vosne, a variety of different styles exist; La Tâche practices a powerful but feminine style, while Richebourg is especially rich and concentrated.

Vosne-Romanée wine is produced mainly in the commune of the same name; this village is only 1.42 square miles in total area. In addition to their own 12 Premiers Crus, Vosne-Romanée produces wine from Flagey-Échezeaux's Premiers Crus. There are three of these, one of which overlaps between the two villages. There are 67.9 acres of Grand Cru vineyards, which are the most famous, 135.5 acres of Premier Cru vineyards, and 265.5 more acres for the village wine. There are only about 70,000 cases a year of red wine made from the non-Grands Crus. Vosne-Romanée's 6 Grands Crus make its number of top-end vineyards second only to Gevrey-Chambertin itself. But Vosne's Grands Crus are higher-regarded than Gevrey's since only two crus in Gevrey make wine that could possibly rival Vosne's Grands Crus.

Vosne-Romanée wine has become so expensive that it is often crucial for non-collectors to look to other villages, but for the top quality, it's almost always Vosne-Romanée that they come back to. The reasons for this are complicated, but Burgundy hounds agree that the best reds almost always come from this appellation. Aging potential is often cited as the reason Vosne-Romanée's wines, especially the Grands Crus but to a lesser extent the Premiers Crus as well, are so good. Some of these wines have Bordeaux-like aging potentials of 30+ years. This also has its side effects, one of which is that the wines are hard to appreciate after only 5-10 years, and only are worth their full value if left to evolve for even longer.

But aging isn't the primary reason for Vosne's success. The main reason is that the climate simply produces wines that combine powerful flavor and silky elegance in a way that no other villages can really rival. Most people in the world can't afford the Grand Cru wines that Vosne produces, since the legendary status of the wines has brought them to ludicrous prices. Even the most avid Vosne lovers will still have difficulty coughing up $100 minimum for a Vosne Premier Cru, while they could easily pay around the same amount for a top négociant-bottled Grand Cru wine from another village. Why, then, is there still more demand than supply for Vosne's top wines, even when they are priced at unheard-of levels? Because there's no real place elsewhere in the world that can compare to Vosne for sheer diversity and quality. Vosne is simply the best place in the world for what it does.


The village of Vosne-Romanée, which was originally named Vosne, has its origins in prehistoric times, although Gevrey-Chambertin has a much longer history in the business of growing and vinifying grapes. The Abbey of Saint Vivant, which was founded in the 9th century, actually owned a large part of Burgundy itself, including the original vineyards, which at that time were not yet delineated.

The turmoil of the French Revolution would cause the demolition of the abbey, and a great amount of upheaval in the area. But the elite were devoted to the wines produced in Vosne-Romanée, and the wealthy family known as the Croonembourgs eventually came into possession of Romanée-Conti. In this way the vineyards were preserved, and in 1866 La Romanée had become famous enough to be appended to the Vosne name.

Since then Vosne-Romanée has gone through even more turmoil, acquired its AOC status in September of 1936, battled phylloxera, gone through periods of obscurity, and relatively recently has emerged as positively the best red wine village in the Côte de Nuits. Record prices are continually being set for Romanée-Conti bottles new and old.

Climate and Viticulture

What is the secret? Certainly, Vosne-Romanée has great weather conditions and climate, an almost perfect growing season for Pinot Noir, and well-located vineyards, both sloped and flat, at village, Premier Cru, and Grand Cru level. But so do all the other Côte de Nuits villages, and they don't produce wine nearly as legendary as Vosne-Romanée.

If there is any provable difference, it's in the soil. The earth is characterized by exceptional purity, being almost entirely made up of red-brown clay interspersed occasionally with rather large bits of limestone, and in some places small pebbles. While fairly damp, the soil drains excellently and as such the flavors are kept concentrated and incredibly powerful. Romanée-Conti takes the soil of Burgundy to a new extreme of depth and concentration, the one-of-a-kind clay making a one-of-a-kind wine.

Grape Varieties

Major Producers

There are a total of 19 producers within Vosne-Romanée's village and Premier Cru boundaries that we consider among the best. Their wines at the Premier Cru level are talked about below under the subregions Premier Cru section.


Vosne-Romanée's quality land means many of the vineyard sites designated Premier Cru could really be Grands Crus if they were located in other villages, and they often are as good as the less esteemed Grands Crus. Market prices, however, reflect this reality, with good Vosne Premier Cru bottles seldom costing under $100. However, this compares quite favorably to the village's pricey Grand Crus!

Since each Premier Cru has a good pedigree of its own, and detailed information is available on all of them, we will give the Premiers Crus a little bit more description than usual. These climats are just as worth knowing as any Grands Crus; any Burgundy hound should be familiar with them. The 15 of these terroirs are listed below.

As you can see, Vosne-Romanée has great Premiers Crus that are, in many cases, capable of catching or surpassing Grands Crus from other villages. It seems difficult to surpass the Premiers Crus here, but that's why Vosne's Grands Crus make the undisputed best red wine in the world.