Romanée-Saint-Vivant

Romanée-Saint-Vivant is a grand cru vineyard on the lower slopes of the Côte d’Or escarpment in Vosne-Romanée. It covers 9.4 hectares (23 acres) of land, making it the largest climat in the village – although it is of average size when compared with all of Burgundy’s grand crus. Romanée-Saint-Vivant’s Pinot Noir wines tend to be lighter and more aromatic than other grands crus in Vosne-Romanée.

The climat is directly adjacent to the village of Vosne-Romanée itself, at the northern end of the commune. The Richebourg and Romanée-Conti grands crus cover the hillside above.

The “Romanée” part of the title dates back to the time before the vineyards were sub-divided by various acquisitions and sales, and Romanée-Saint-Vivant was the eastern part of the larger Romanée site. The “Saint-Vivant” name comes from the order of L’Abbaye de Saint-Vivant whose monks originally tended to the vines.

Romanée-Saint-Vivant’s position on the lower slopes of the Côte d’Or means it soils are quite different from other climats in Vosne-Romanée. Over the years, materials from the upper slopes of the Cote d’Or have been brought down onto the lower-lying land by the effects of rain and simple gravity.

As a result, the vineyard has a slightly deeper layer of topsoil and a higher percentage of clay in the overall composition. This accounts for its specific terroir – which is measurable even within the vineyard itself – and the corresponding difference in the style of its wines.

Wines from Romanée-Saint-Vivant are considered the lightest and most delicate of the grand cru wines from Vosne-Romanée and neighboring Flagey-Echezeaux (the vineyards belonging to the two villages are contiguous and are often grouped together), and do not attract quite as much attention as their Romanée-Conti counterparts.

Nonetheless, they are held in extremely high regard and have a dedicated following among connoisseurs with a preference for the more delicate side of Pinot Noir.

The climat has more owners than most of the grand cru climats in Vosne-Romanée, many of which are monopoles. As in Richebourg and in the nearby Echézeaux grand cru climats, the largest portion of Romanée-Saint-Vivant is owned by Domaine de la Romanée-Conti.