ompared to the neighbouring commune of Aloxe-Corton Savigny-lès-Beaune is a large commune, close to 14 times bigger in terms of area. But the vineyards do not even cover twice as many hectares. At the beginning of Vallée de Fontaine Froide, just a few kilometres northwest of Beaune, the village of Savigny-lès-Beaune is stretched out along the small river Rhoin. Thanks to this little stream, that starts further up the valley in Bouilland, Savigny is greener than most of the other villages along the Côte d'Or.
My favourite place in Savigny-lès-Beaune is a restaurant – La Cuverie on 5 rue Chanoine Donin. This is traditional cooking at its best; rustic in a most positive way. If you are planning for Sunday lunch here, be sure to make a reservation.
Back in 936 the village was called Saviniacus. Half a century later, in 987, this had transformed into Savignacum. Savigney was used from the 12th century to the 15th. Savigny près de Beaune appeared during the 16th century and Savigny sous Beaune during the following century. In 1863 one finally arrived at Savigny-lès-Beaune. If this didn't confuse you, then maybe the Amicale des Savigny de France et de Suisse is something for you. It is an organisation uniting all Savignys in France and Switzerland. There are 26 of them.
When the Château de Savigny-lès-Beaune changed hands in 1979 it was also the return of the chateau as a wine producing estate. Since then the chateau, which was built in 1340, has expanded with a large museum for Abarth cars, aeroplanes, motorcycles and equipment from the wine production. The garden holds around 80 fighter aircrafts, not quite what you expect to find in the middle of one of the most renowned wine regions of the world.
The main part of the vignoble is southeast of Savigny-lès-Beaune, bordering to Pernand-Vergelesses, Chorey-lès-Beaune and Beaune. There are no grand crus and the premier crus, 22 in total, are concentrated to two areas – one on the Pernand side, around the Bois de Noël, touching on the Vergelesses vineyards and one on the Beaune side, just by the A6 motorway.
There are two small monopoles among the premier crus - La Bataillère aux Vergelesses, owned by Domaine Albert Morot in Beaune and Champ-Chevrey (1.46 ha), owned by Domaine Tollot-Beaut in Chorey-lès-Beaune.
– Champ-Chevrey was acquired by our family in 1953, explains Nathalie Tollot at Domaine Tollot-Beaut. It is located east of Lavières. As with Lavières the subsoil is limestone laves, but with more clay. In general the wines from Lavières are very refined and elegant, but Champ-Chevrey have more structure.
The vines in Champ-Chevrey were planted in 1955 and the name comes from the French word for hemp, chanvre.
© 2013 Ola Bergman