is a grand cru appellation in the Côte de Beaune (part of the Côte-d'Or). The appellation
was established in 1937, and on wine labels its name may be followed by that of the climat (vineyard site) where
the wine was grown (for example: Le Charlemagne, En Charlemagne, Pougets, Corton et Languettes). The
appellation straddles the villages of Aloxe-Corton, Ladoix-Serigny, and Pernand-Vergelesses. The vineyard takes
part of its name from Charlemagne, who, in 775, offered it as a gift to the church of Saint-Andoche of Saulieu,
which would retain the property for one thousand years.
With a southeast/southwest exposure that is unusual in the Côte-d'Or, the hillside of Corton-Charlemagne offers
its vines a perfect geological foundation: the layers of Oxfordian (late Jurassic) soil are younger here, in the
stretch from Ladoix to Meursault, than in the rest of the Côte-d'Or. Midway up the gentle slope is a reddish, stony
brown limestone soil heavy in marl and potash. Chardonnay, destined for white Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru
wines, occupies the upper part of the slope.
The grand cru appellation of Corton-Charlemagne covers an area of 52 hectares (130 acres) and produces
about 2,160 hectolitres of wine each year. These are white wines whose pale golden color with green reflections
develops over time into a deeper yellow with amber tints. Older vintages (wines up to 25 or 30 years old) have
notes of leather and truffle. The graceful Chardonnay grape and the terroir of Corton-Charlemagne share a close
bond rarely found in other vineyards, thanks largely to the excellent work of producers like Domaine Faiveley,
Domaine Joseph Drouhin, Domaine Leroy, Maison Bouchard Père et Fils, and Maison Louis Jadot.