Vougeot owes its name to the river Vouge, which is shaped like a billhook (serpe), thus providing the best conditions for successful vine-growing. The Clos de Vougeot was planted in 1110, and the monks of Citeaux built a cellarhouse here in the mid-13th century.
In 1360, Pope Urban V issued an edict ordering the monks to stop supplying wine to the papal court in Avignon. This law was still in force 300 years later. Petrarch wrote in 1336 that the cardinals were unwilling to return to Rome because they could not imagine life without this <<godly nectar>>. Even then, the monks had an outstanding eye for quality: they produced a <<Cuvee des Papes>>, a <<Cuvee des Rois>> and a <<Cuvée des Moines>>.
Abbot Jean Loisier began building the Châeau du Clos de Vougeot in 1551. It is now used for meetings of what is probably France’s best-known wine fraternity, the Confréie des Chevaliers du Tastevin, which devotes itself to upholding the reputation, culture and traditions of Burgundy and its wines.
One of Napoleon’s officers, Colonel Bisson, ordered his regiment to salute as they passed this venerable vineyard on the way home from their Italian campaign in 1794.