CLOS DE VOUGEOT and The Confrèrie des Chevaliers du Tastevin

Vougeot Travel Blog

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Thousandth Chapître on 2007

                                Translatable as The Brotherhood of Knights of Wine-tasting cup,The Confrèrie des Chevaliers du Tastevin was founded after the Great Depression as Burgundy was going through a serious economic crisis and Burgundy wines, in spite of great vintages 1929,1933, were not selling.The Confrèrie came into being in 1934, thanks to 2 men ,in a cellar in Nuits-Saint-Georges, as a small gathering of friends.The first Chapître(chapter -meeting) was held on 16th November 1934:a wine Confrèrie welcoming its friends with a ritual and an atmosphere was born,a banquet was given and the success was immediate.

Entry of the Knights' headquarters with a huge tastevin

                                The Confrèrie was founded to celebrate Burgundy and its wines,its hospitality,its regional cuisine but also to maintain its customs, its traditions and to encourage people from all over the world to visit Burgundy.

                                After the WWII,the Confrèrie bought the Château de Clos de Vougeot (but not the vineyard) to use it, as headquarters and place for its Châpitres(meetings).

The Grand Council
At least half a dozen of Châpitres are held throughout the year in Spring,Summer,Autumn,Saint Vincent,Equinox...which gather friends from all over the world and are  the opportunity to initiate illustrious(or not) personnalities like heads of states,royalty,Nobel prize winners,ministers,business leaders...

                               While the Confrèrie started with only 2 friends,it is now a worldwide community of more than ten thousands members with foreign Sous-Commanderies in Australia,China,Japan,Canada,Usa,Singapore,Mauritius,Bermuda...

                              To become an applicant for membership and get the right to wear a robe like those worn by doctors of theology in 16th century France,one must be presented by two members of the Confrèrie who have agreed to be sponsors.

Canadian Knights
The jury, with their red and yellow neck sashes  and tastevins appreciates merit as well as talent.

                               "The new Chevaliers whether in France at Vougeot or abroad,only meet to share optimistic views and brotherhood over a glass of the nectar of the gods"

                              My best friend Bernard,a great man but an "unknown personnality "received as Knight few years ago,participates each year in a dinner in Autumn with his wife and a couple of friends.

The coat of arms of the Confrèrie,the tastevinage stamp
For this event,the Tenue de Soirée is obligatory,a car or minibus rental recommended because of the gendarmes(cops) and the difficulty of parking.They enjoy Burgundian food like oeufs en meurette (eggs poached in red wine),evidently more sophisticated courses and, of course ,great wines served with a very professional service (no one has to wait for anything) in spite of the large number of foodies from all over the world, often over 500.

A very delicious and informative review has been written by Jancis Robinson,an internationally known wine writer,about her 2003 dinner there,check


                             Troughout the years,The Confrèrie was at the heart of important events like:

                                       -The Saint Vincent Tournante,the Saint Vincent Tournament ,the patron saint of growers and of the most mutual Aid Societies gather in Autumn under its banners numerous people for a religious service,parades and popular feast.

Knights by the Saint Vincent Tournament
I attended the 2000 one in Gevrey-Chambertin.It is the opportunity to taste countless wines...

                                      -Les Trois Glorieuses on the third weekend of November

                                      -Cultural and human patronage

                                      -TASTEVINAGE,a test to improve the quality of wine.

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Thousandth Chapître on 2007
Thousandth Chapître on 2007
Entry of the Knights headquarters…
Entry of the Knights' headquarter…
The Grand Council
The Grand Council
Canadian Knights
Canadian Knights
The coat of arms of the Confrèrie…
The coat of arms of the Confrèri…
Knights by the Saint Vincent Tourn…
Knights by the Saint Vincent Tour…
photo by: Vikram