As its name suggests, Corton-Charlemagne has a connection to the Emperor: folklore has it that Charlemagne himself ordered the planting of the first white varietals on Côte de Beaune’s Montagne de Corton Hill due to his wife’s complaints of red wine staining his iconic white beard. Whether true or not, what is a fact is that the appellation produces many of the world’s most renowned white wines.
Designated in 1937, it covers three communes extending over 130 acres: Aloxe-Corton, Ladoix-Serrigny and Pernand-Vergelesses. The hill is steeped in limestone, with dense woods above protecting its mesoclimate. Upper pockets of clay have been swept downward, allowing Chardonnay to thrive. Further down the slope, however, the clay, along with iron and fossil-rich soil, provide a safe haven for Pinot Noir. The famous white wines of Corton-Charlemagne are fruiter than many, but with an interesting touch of flint. Expensive and desirable, these wines live up to their regal appellation. Top Producers: Domaine Bonneau Martray, Domaine Faiveley