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Château du Clos de Vougeot, Vougeot

France 21640
Tel: 33 3 80 62 86 09's insider take:

If this fortified Renaissance château's towers, gabled roof, and 12th-century cellars look familiar, it's because they're on practically every postcard and brochure of the Burgundy region. Clos de Vougeot is located on the most popular part of the Burgundy wine route, between Nuits-St.-Georges and Dijon, and despite being a tourist magnet, it's authentic and (unlike most Burgundy estates) easy to visit. (Domaine de la Romanée Conti, in Vosne-Romanée, which produces the most expensive, sought-after red wine in the world, is better known, but it's not open to the public.) Seventy winemakers own parcels of the 125-acre vineyard—all of it Grand Cru—and while the château doesn't sell those wines or do tastings, the 45-minute guided tours are great. Since 1945, the château has been the headquarters of the Chevaliers du Tastevin, an organization of wine experts who wear four-cornered hats and gold and scarlet robes and carry silver tasting cups. Kitsch? Not entirely: They rate the region's wines twice yearly, and only a third of bottlings submitted win approval, giving those wines extra prestige—and the ability to fetch premium prices.—David Downie

Open Saturdays through Thursdays 9 am to 6:30 pm, Fridays 9 am to 5 pm, April through September; Saturdays through Thursdays 9 to 11:30 am and 2 to 5:30 pm, Fridays 9 to 11:30 am and 2 to 5 pm, October through March. Closed Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year's Eve.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.