On Sunday, the last full day of our Burgundy trip, my wife and I took a walk around the vineyards surrounding Morey-Saint-Denis. Incidentally, it was also the day of the Marathon des Grand Crus, which led straight through the town of Morey-Saint-Denis back towards Dijon. That made for some nice impressions of locals celebrating this year’s harvest. There was live music and fun to be had. We were curious about the fact some runners seemed to prefer Chardonnay over water at the supply stand in the village centre.
Starting at the village centre, our walk led us down the Rue aux Loups, which goes straight through two large Grand Crus with Clos de la Roche on its right (pictured above) and Clos Saint-Denis on its left (pictured below). In the first photo below you can also see a bit of Premier Cru Les Chaffots a little further up the slope above Clos Saint-Denis. As you can see in the second photo, we found many vines still having fruit on them and I wonder why. Some bunches were obviously dried, but some were rather nice.
After Clos Saint-Denis, we took to the left at the fork in the road there. We passed by Premier Cru Monts Luisants (pictured below) and arrived at Grand Cru Latricières-Chambertin. That is where we turned left up the hill and into the forest above the vineyards. The slope was surprisingly steep in some parts. The slow walk up gave me some time to examine the soil. Dry clay (it hadn’t rained for a while) and limestone of different sizes everywhere. The higher up we got, the more stones seemed to emerge from the earth.
Clos des Lambrays
At the top, we found a nice path that is also a popular mountain bike track. From there, you have a nice view of the vineyards below, so we took a break for a little picnic. The path led us back South towards Morey-Saint-Denis. We came out of the woods and down the hill on the Northern end of Grand Cru Clos des Lambrays. Today, the vineyard is almost a monopole of Domaine des Lambrays, which in turn is owned by luxury conglomerate LVMH.
All in all, the roundtrip took us about 90 minutes. Although I had seen the map of the Côte de Nuits in theory, I was still surprised by the density of Premier Cru and Grand Cru vineyards around Morey-Saint-Denis. If we’d followed the participants in the Marathon des Grand Crus further North towards Dijon, we would have come across some equally big names in Chambertin. For us, that’s a walk for another day.