Since 1944 the château has been owned by the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin (Brotherhood of the Knights of the Tastevin). Ten years earlier in 1934 a small group of Burgundians met in a cellar in Nuits-Saint-Georges and decided to fight against the slump in wines and form a society whose aim was to promote the wines of France in general and, in particular, those of Burgundy.
The brotherhood was founded and its renown grew fast and spread throughout Europe and America. Each year several chapter meetings of the order, well known throughout the world, are held in the 12th century Great Cellar of the château. Five hundred guests take part in these banquets, at the end of which the Grand Master and the Grand Chancellor, surrounded by high dignitaries of the brotherhood, initiate new knights according to strictly observed rites that are based on the Divertissement in Molière’s Malade Imaginaire.
During these plenary chapter meetings, the knights of the Tastevin celebrate the first of Les Trois Glorieuses in the château on the eve of the sale of the wines of the Hospices of Beaune, which is held in the town on the following day. The following Monday is devoted to the Paulée de Meursault, a celebration banquet. The château was built during the Renaissance period and restored in the 19th century.
The rooms visited include the Grand Cellier (12th century cellar) where the disnées (banquets) and the ceremonies of the Order are held, the 12th century vat cellar containing four huge wine presses, the 16th century kitchen with its huge chimney and ribbed vault supported by a single central pillar, and the monks’ dormitory which has a spectacular 14th century pitched roof.
The château is open to visitors from March to October from 9 am to 11:30 am and from 2 pm to 6 pm.
Content source: Michelin’s Burgundy/Jura The Green Guide.