An exceptional architectural heritage

Intrinsically linked to vine cultivation

In this cultural setting created by the Climats, the subtle alchemy between the vine and architectural heritage has shaped the landscape, the towns and the villages. The limestone of Burgundy is ever-present in the subsoil, providing the raw material for the « meurgers » (piles of large stones), enclosures and ancient stone walls used to mark out and protect the parcels of vines. It is also the foundation for the building of vernacular constructions (winegrowers’ houses and cellars) and monuments like the Hospices de Beaune and the Palace of the Dukes of Burgundy in Dijon…The towns, as historical sites of economic, political and cultural power, have long been instrumental in protecting and maintaining the identity, diversity and expertise of the Climats.

Enclosures, ancient stone walls and stone shelters

These rural constructions have defined the contours of each Climat for centuries and trace the seams of this marvelous mosaic of vines on the landscape for all to see.

« Clos » or enclosures

A clos (or « cloux ») is an enclosed vineyard, surrounded by stone walls, dating back to the Middle Ages.

These clos were designed to protectthe vines fromanimals and thieves. They were developed under the impetus of the Cistercian abbeys during the 10th century and the Clunisian abbeys during the 11th century. Some enclosures were large enough to include cellars, like in Vougeot, Clos de Tart in Vougeot and Clos de la Perrière in Fixin.

Ancient stone walls

Apart from being essential to vine cultivation in the region, these ancient stone walls form a genuine framework that characterises the landscape and accentuates its contours. They are necessary in combatting soil erosion and limiting damage caused by animals and humans. These walls help to break up the water flow, retain the soil, soften the slopes and slow down the rainwater runoff.

The stone shelters we call « cabottes » (or cabotes)

These huts were built from piles or dry stones collected during land clearing, and are used by winegrowers to store tools or as shelters in bad weather.

Many examples of these rural buildings can be found throughout the region, in various shapes and sizes.

The « meurgers » or piles of large stones

The word « meurger » comes from Burgundian dialect and originally stems from the Gallic term « morg » meaning limit or boundary.

It is used to describe the piles of rough stones or small rocks located near the plots of vines. These are the result of land clearing carried out by winegrowers preparing the land for cultivation. Meurgers mark out boundaries between the Climats and help to retain soil among the parcels of vines.

Storehouses, cellars and presses

The first traces of buildings linked to vineyard estates date back to the Cistercian order. At that time, the wineries were organised as follows:

  • a protective clos or enclosure surrounding the rows of vines but also a quarry called a « perrière » where blocks of stone for building were extracted
  • a production area made up of presses and fermenting rooms called « cuveries »
  • a storehouse to keep and later age the wine
  • a dwelling and a chapel.

The following historical buildings are among the most emblematic constructions linked to winegrowing in the region: the Cellier de Clairvaux in Dijon, Clos de Vougeot, Clos de Tart, Le Clos de la Perrière, and later the Cuverie du Chapitre in Beaune.

Fermenting room

This is where the grapes were pressed and put into vats for fermentation.


This was a cool room, located on the ground floor or below, where the wine was stored and aged in casks.


This was usually located in the basement, and used to store the wine.


Device used for pressing the harvested grapes in white winemaking and the marc (dregs) in red winemaking.

Emblematic monuments

Our heritage legacy is of viticultural, spiritual and cultural importance. The Cistercian monks, and in turn the Dukes of Burgundy, left their mark on the architecture and art in the towns and villages across the region. In Beaune and Dijon, the two economic, political and cultural powerhouses, the decision-makers of the time played an essential role in the construction of the Climats. Among the emblematic buildings which have survived to this day to bear witness to this continuity are: the Palace of the Dukes of Burgundy and the tomb of the Dukes of Burgundy in Dijon, the Hospices de Beaune and Château du Clos de Vougeot.

Come and discover these places - visit the Climats!