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The Clos de Vougeot vineyard was created by Cistercian monks of Cîteaux Abbey, the order’s mother abbey. The land making up the vineyard was purchased by the Cistercians, or donated to them, from the 12th century to the early 14th century.
The initial vineyard consisted of donations in 1109 to 1115. The vineyard was complete, and a wall had been built around it, by the year 1336.
It served as the flagship vineyard of the Cistercians, and has been a highly recognised name for centuries.
Château du Clos de Vougeot, situated inside the wall, was added in 1551 by rebuilding and enlarging a small chapel and some other buildings previously existing at the site. From 1945, this building has served as headquarters of the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin.
In the French Revolution, all vineyard possessions were taken from the church by the French state, and sold off to private buyers.
In 1818, the château and vineyards of Clos de Vougeot was bought by Julien-Jules Ouvrard, who also bought the Romanée-Conti vineyard in 1819.
Ouvrard later moved to Château de Gilly, another former Cistercian property, but continued to take an interest in the vineyards of Clos de Vougeot, which was then a monopole.
After Ouvrard’s death, Clos de Vougeot passed to his three heirs, but continued to be operated as a single property until 1889, when the heirs put it up for sale.
It was bought by six Burgundy wine merchants, leading to a subdivided vineyard for the first time since its creation more than 700 years earlier.
After that, the holdings have been progressively subdivided by inheritance and land sales. In the early 2000s, Clos de Vougeot was split among more than 80 owners.
One of the 1889 vineyard buyers, Léonce Bocquet, also bought the château, and initiated renovations of a part of it. In 1920, the château came into the hands of Etienne Camuzet, who was vineyard owner in Vosne-Romanée and politician.
He put it to the disposal of the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin, and on November 29, 1944 sold it to the organisation Société civile des Amis du Château du Clos de Vougeot (“Friends of the Château du Clos de Vougeot”), which gave the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin a 99-year lease on the property.