CLOS DE VOUGEOT and The Confrèrie des Chevaliers du Tastevin
Vougeot Travel Blog› entry 3 of 4 › view all entries
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.
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).
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.
"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.
A very delicious and informative review has been written by Jancis Robinson,an internationally known wine writer,about her 2003 dinner there,check www.jancisrobinson.com/articles/jr7101.html
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.
-Les Trois Glorieuses on the third weekend of November
-Cultural and human patronage
-TASTEVINAGE,a test to improve the quality of wine.