Thousands of people from everywhere in the world and from all walks of life have participated in the famous Chapitres at the Château du Clos de Vougeot, and discovered beneath the good humour of Burgundy, the deep meaning of the ceremonies whose aims are still the same: to make Burgundy - both the region and its wine - more widely known under the auspices of cheerfulness and optimism.
Every season, numerous Chapitres are celebrated there: Spring, Summer, Autumn ... the Equinox, The Roses, Saint-Vincent, Saint-Hubert... These Chapitres enable the Confrérie to welcome the most illustrious guests as well as the Chevaliers du Tastevin with close ties to the soul of Burgundy.
It was also necessary for the meetings and ceremonies to be conducted with taste and decorum, so that statesmen, ambassadors, members of the academies, great military leaders, artists, men and women of letters, and industrialists should have no qualms about being present and even making speeches there.
Heads of State, ministers, ambassadors, royalty, Nobel prize-winners or writers, famous military or business leaders, sport champions, singers or actors, all have come or will come one evening or an other to the Cistercian cellar to have the moving experience of going through the "Cercles du Vin".
The Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin is a private club. It may have 12 000 members but it has no desire for a noticeable increase of membership, so that the quality of reception facilities at the Château du Clos de Vougeot can be maintained.
Yet, the "Tastevin" does not just receive "anyone" no matter how successful he or she may be. It appreciates merit as well as talent, it likes to honour courage, personal endeavour, scientific intelligence, the love of France and fulfilment of human values.
To become an applicant for membership of the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin, one must express a wish to become a member and be presented by two members of the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin who have agreed to be sponsors.
Because wine is more than wine, a gift from Heaven and the fruit of man's work, it expresses the beautiful, the great, and the true. The words of the Universal language of Brotherhood sing the joy of living and the happiness of encounters, with a sense of balance and good measure. To raise one's glass, indeed, but not just to drink it! "He is not good, who strives not to be better", said saint Bernard. Such is the ethos of the Tastevin.