A wonderful view

Unique wine architecture

The asceticism of Cistercian architecture

Surrounded by its walled vines, the Cellier aux Moines is a place to live, to work and to contemplate

Perched on the top of its limestone hill, the Cellier aux Moines overlooks the vineyard and the village of Givry. Beyond the buildings, arranged like a little fortified hamlet, there is a vast terrace which seems to offer an almost infinite view...

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From the neighbouring hillsides of Beaune to the north, to the Monts du Beaujolais to the south, the broad valley of the Saône River to the east, bordered by the undulating Jura Mountains, beyond which, on a clear day, one can pick out the prestigious silhouettes of two alpine peaks: Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn.

Dating from the 12th century, the vat room is typical of Cistercian architecture with its steeply sloping gables, its narrow openings and its original porch with Gothic arches. It is prolonged by two wings, consisting of living quarters and communal buildings, constructed up to the 17th century, that surround a cobbled courtyard. Very likely damaged during the Hundred Years War, the Cellier underwent major reconstruction in the 15th century. The Cellier aux Moines has numerous architectural similarities with its contemporary, the Cellier du Clos de Vougeot.

The last wooden press built by the monks in 1739 is still in the vat room, as at Vougeot, with its impressive lever, carved from a single oak tree that would have been cut down in the winter of 1735-1736. The vaulted cellar buried in the side of the hill dates from the 13th century. Above the cellar one can see the layout of the communal rooms where the lay brothers prayed and slept. Mullioned windows open to the south and to the west; beneath them are the small stone window seats, somewhat worn now, where the brothers used to sit and read the scriptures at the end of the day.

A project for grander accommodation (a logement de maître) was initiated in the 18th century, probably so that the abbot of La Ferté could come and stay in his vineyard, but it never came to fruition.

After the revolution, the Cellier, having been made the state's property, was sold at public auction. The Martin family and its descendants, the Fontaine-Nivet, became its owners for two centuries. A windmill overlooks the vines below the Clos and the Cellier. Built from oak cut down in the winter of 1788 -1789, it was leased to successive millers for a century; the mill has lost its sails but still has its internal mechanism. Substantial works were carried out in the 19th century to turn the Cellier into a holiday residence, without losing its monastic character. A chapel was built in 1897, recreating a place for prayer at the Cellier.

The family Pascal carried out a major restoration of the Cellier's roofs and walls, which are classified as Historic Monuments, between 2004 and 2008. The vat room and cellars have been refurbished and returned to service for the 2007 vintage. And so it was that the Cellier aux Moines in Givry has been able to resume wine production, and make new plans for the future.

Creation Vinium
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