I’d seen the construction work since at least July 2012 – it could have been June – but what exactly was going on with those earth-movers up the Chemin des Argillières above the Clos l’Arlot in Nuits St.Georges?
This week I managed to quiz a few locals and an interesting, indeed amazing story was relayed – though let’s be clear, it’s just their ‘story’: This is a vineyard that has been ‘constructed’ – it simply wasn’t there last year – but this is construction on an industrial scale.
Apparently some old building(s?) at the foot of the ancient (1500-1700s or probably older(?)) stone quarry had been bought by a resident of Dijon – who came originally from Premeaux. With hundreds of tonnes of materials he has filled in the space and made a reasonable slope upto what was previously just a stone cliff-face. The basic platform that now waits for vines looks very stony – not much organic material – but has had a ‘faux historic’ entrance and steps constructed as an entrance-way. Only when you look at the southern side of the ‘platform’ do you realise what has actually been done here.
There are a couple of other matters too: This piece of land has no AOC, despite bordering the premier crus of Clos de l’Arlot and Les Argillières. The locals are also far from supportive of the ‘land’ getting an AOC – today even Bourgogne Rouge or Blanc is not allowed. One of the reasons why it might be hard to be awarded AOC could be that it’s not entirely clear where the ‘land-fill’ has come from! However, I suppose that they could ignore AOC completely and make a ‘vin de table’! There is just one more pertinent (I think) point: The buyer, and instigator of this project is apparently aged about 85 years old – so not likely to be drinking any of the wine that this platform may (or may not) ever produce! It is said that a son-in-law could eventually benefit…