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The Birth of the Confrerie


In spite of great vintages (1929, 1933, 1934), Burgundy in the early thirties went through a serious economic crisis. With not enough wine leaving the cellars and not enough money coming in, this resulted in a slump. The appearance of the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin was like a ray of sunlight in the darkness of the wine cellars; its birth certificate was signed on November 16, 1934 in the Caveau Nuiton of Nuits-Saint-Georges.

The resurrection of the ancient Bacchus Confréries


Two men from Nuits-Saint-Georges, Camille Rodier and Georges Faiveley, formed the Tourist Office in 1933. "As nobody wants our wines", they said together with other winegrowers, "let's invite our friends to come and taste them with us!" Rather than going to Paris, they preferred to stay in Nuits-Saint-Georges, sure that "people will come to us if we know how to awaken their interest".

With imagination and limited means, a little team got down to work. They had to give their future guests a gallant welcome! They found a beautiful cellar: "Le Caveau Nuiton" to give a banquet, but the important thing was to make it unique, unforgettable: the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin came into being.
The idea was still new. At the opening Chapitre on 16th November 1934, and for the first time ever, a wine confrérie welcomed its friends with a ritual and an atmosphere, which were often to be repeated subsequently. Might this not be the beginning of public relations?

Rabelais and Molière

Saint-Vincent Tournante

True, there had once been the "Order of the free Drinkers of Burgundy" but it had disappeared more than a century before. The "Chanteurs Bourguignons", the future Cadets de Bourgogne, had already performed Burgundian initiations. All this took shape and form in a masterly fashion with the dubbing and its ceremonial. The spirit of Rabelais and Molière was called upon. In short, success was immediate and the Parisian press enthused over this Burgundian initiative.

In 1939 during the war, the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin became silent. But their soul lived on and five years later after the Liberation, they surfaced livelier than ever. Their first task was to buy the Château du Clos du Vougeot, which would allow them to have a view over the vineyards. This famous Cistercian site became their flagship.

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