Domaine Prieure-Roch was established in 1988 when Henry-Frédéric Roch exercised the right of first refusal on a few acres of famous vineyards in Romanee Saint-Vivant and purchased the land. As with so much in Burgundy, the story of these vineyards is intertwined with famous domaines and legendary winemaking families. Henry-Frédéric Roch is the nephew of Lalou Bize-Leroy, one of Burgundy’s most successful and colorful winemakers, and Roch is also a co-director of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti. Roch enlarged his holdings and today he has 35 acres of Grand Cru, Premier Cru and villages parcels in Clos de Vougeot, Chambertin, Vosne-Romanée and Nuits-Saints-Georges. Yannick Champ is winemaker.
Clos de Vougeot is a walled vineyard that dominates the tiny commune of Vougeot in Burgundy’s Nuits-St.-Georges. The 124-acre Grand Cru vineyard includes a historic chateau that in 1945 was purchased by the Confrerie des Chevaliers du Tastevin, an organization devoted to promoting the traditions of Burgundy and its wines. The impressive chateau is the organization’s headquarters. Clos de Vougeot was established as a vineyard by Cistercian monks in the 12th century, then sold off to private owners after the French Revolution. The vineyard is unusual for a Grand Cru in that it includes land that runs down to the main road. The soil is light limestone with sand. Principal landowners are Chateau de la Tour, with 13 acres; Meo-Camuzet, 7.5 acres; Rebourseau, 5.5 acres; Louis Jadot, 5.3 acres; and Leroy, 5 acres.
This red wine is relatively light and can pair with a wide variety of foods. The grape prefers cooler climates and the wine is most often associated with Burgundy, Champagne and the U.S. west coast. Regional differences make it nearly as fickle as it is flexible.