Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, or DRC as it is commonly known, is easily Burgundy’s best-known and most collectible wine producer. Based in the Burgundy village of Vosne-Romanée, the domaine makes wines from eight different grand cru vineyards that span the length of the Côte d’Or. The most famous comes from the eponymous Romanée-Conti vineyard, and on average is the most expensive wine in the world.
The domaine makes mostly Pinot Noir-based wines from 28 hectares (69 acres) of grand cru vineyard – represented alongside Romanée-Conti are La Tache, Romanée-Saint-Vivant and Richebourg in Vosne-Romanée; Corton-Bressandes, Corton Clos du Roi and Corton Renardes in Corton; and Échezeaux and Grands Échezeaux. Le Montrachet and Batard-Montrachet in the Côte de Beaune make DRC’s only Chardonnay-based white wines.
Of course, La Romanée-Conti is the domaine’s most famous asset, and the amount of wine made from less than 2ha (5 acres) of land amounts to just 6000 bottles a year. The vineyard has a long history, dating back to the Abbey of Saint-Vivant in the 13th Century. It took on the Romanée name in 1631, and the Conti in 1760. In 1869, it was obtained by Jacques-Marie Duvault-Blochet, who left it to his great grandchildren upon his death. It was then that the Société-Civile du Domaine de la Romanée-Conti was established to avoid Napoleonic inheritance laws.
Today, DRC is owned in part by the de Villaine family and in part by the Leroy family. Aubert de Villaine is the figurehead of the company now – although it was famously run by Lalou Bize-Leroy for a time, until a dispute saw her ousted from control. The Leroy family is now represented by Henri-Frederic Roch.