Corton & Corton Charlemagne

Corton Hillside With Corton-Charlemagne Vineyards Corton and Corton-Charlemagne are two Grand Cru appellations sharing the slopes of the Corton Hill, at the Northern end of the Côte de Beaune. Corton is famous for frank, firm, and complex Pinot Noirs that reach their peak after 4-12 years of cellaring. Corton-Charlemagne is renowned for rich, powerful and concentrated Chardonnays that will keep for decades.

The two appellations span three villages — Ladoix, Aloxe-Corton and Pernand Vergelesses — and together account for one third of the Grand Cru surface area in Burgundy.

The Chardonnay vines occupy the steeper upper slopes, where the soil features light-color clayish marl on top of hard Jurassic limestone. Pinot vines lie lower, on redder, pebbly soil and a gentler slope that caters to red grapes.

Pierre Ravaut in Corton Vineyards Legend says that Emperor Charlemagne owned vineyards here, back when the hill grew exclusively Pinot Noir. His wife, though, fed-up with having to wash off the red stains on his clothes, marched up to the hill and demanded the farmers dig up the vines, and replace them with white grapes!

To this day, vineyards in Corton-Charlemagne are exclusively white. A rare treat, these wines truly are fit for a king.

So thank you, Mrs. Charlemagne!


Planted Grapes Pinot Noir (95%), Chardonnay and Pinot Beurot (5%)
Production Area Red: 223 acres, all Grand Cru
White: 3 acres, all Grand Cru
Soil Limestone, marl
Wine Flavor Highly complex, sensual and structural reds. Intense aromas and powerful flavors.
Age 10-20 years
Best Vintages 2010, 2009, 2005, 2003, 2002, 1999
Food Pairings Roast, grilled beef, fowl braised or roasted.


Planted Grapes Chardonnay (100%)
Production Area 128 acres, all Grand Cru
Soil Limestone, marl, clay
Wine Flavor Powerful and opulent, nutty, buttery and honeyed
Age 10-20 years
Best Vintages 2011, 2010, 2004, 2002, 2001, 2000
Food Pairings Foie gras, lobster, poultry in white sauce, blue cheese