900 Years of HISTORY
Clos de Tart was founded in 1141
It is quite remarkable that despite a long history stretching back hundreds of years, the Clos de Tart Estate has never been broken up or divided. It is indeed the largest Grand Cru Monopole in Burgundy today. The vines, as well as the ageing and winemaking facilities, have always been on exactly the same site.
As was often the case in Burgundy, and also other winemaking regions in Europe, it was the Church that discovered the best terroirs and worked to showcase them.
Clos de Tart as we know it today was founded in 1141 by Cistercian nuns of Tart Abbey, a dependent house of Cîteaux Abbey. Clos de Tart belonged to this order right up until the French Revolution. At the beginning of the Twelfth Century Clos de Tart was called Climat de la Forge. It was only after the Cistercian nuns of Tart Abbey acquired the land in 1141 that the Estate became known as Clos de Tart.
In 1791 the famous Marey-Monge family took over the ownership of Clos de Tart. After acquiring one of the most prestigious vineyards in Burgundy when the family purchased the famed-appellation of Romanée-Saint-Vincent, Claude Marey, a wine merchant based in Nuits-Saint-Georges, bought Clos de Tart and its 18 planted journaux* (around 15 acres). Further to this purchase, the Estate underwent several necessary transformations and changes, driven in particular by two of Claude Marey's energetic descendants, Joseph Marey, merchant and legislator, and Ferdinand Marey-Monge (he had married the daughter of the mathematician Monge). In Doctor Lavalle's 1855 classification of Côte-d'Or wines, Clos de Tart was granted the status Tête de Cuvée, a prestigious category which was more restrictive than today's Grand Cru classification. In addition, it was the only Estate in Morey-Saint-Denis to be accorded this honour.
*The journal was an old Burgundian unit of measurement corresponding to the surface area a peasant could plough in a day.
The Marey-Monge family sold Clos de Tart in an auction in 1932 to a Mâcon wine merchant, Henri Mommessin. He bought the Estate at the reserve price and was the only bidder due to the economic crisis at the time. In 1996, Sylvain Pitiot was appointed to run Clos de Tart and during his tenure he breathed new life into the Estate. This new momentum was brought about thanks to a much more precise mapping of the different types of subsoils and terroirs of Clos de Tart as well as the introduction of new winery equipment to have a much more nuanced approach to winemaking. The Mommessin family remained the sole owners until 2018.