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The Pope’s vineyard
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At the beginning of the 14th century, the monks of Cîteaux selected their best wine, the ‘cuvée des papes’ from Clos de Vougeot. Thanks to the “Saône-Rhône axis”, the wine was easily transported to Avignon, where popes resided from 1309 to 1403. This arrival of Beaune wines at the Pontifical Court dethroned the white wines of Provence. So much so that in 1364, a foreseeable return to Rome led Pope Urbain V to threaten the abbot of Cîteaux with excommunication if he continued to supply Avignon with Clos Vougeot: the Cardinals were refusing to return to Italy to not deprive themselves of such a vintage.
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