Tales of the Vine: The King with the Grizzly Beard

Behind every bottle, there’s a story…

Born in 742 and rising to power as the Holy Roman Emperor and ruler of much of the Western World, it was Emperor Charlemagne who commanded the planting of the Pinot Noir vines that produce the excellent red Burgundy of Le Corton.  It is well-known that Emperor Charlemagne adored the precious red wine of Le Corton, and drank some every day.

However, as the years past and the king became an older man, his hand was no longer as steady as it once was.  From time to time, while enjoying his precious red Burgundy, he would spill some wine onto his flowing white beard.  The resulting red stains annoyed his wife to such an extent that she demanded that he stop drinking wine.

Emperor Charlemagne was a legendary lover of the company of women, but was determined nonetheless to not give in to his wife’s demands.  Charlemagne craftily decided to become a white wine aficionado in order to be able to drink to his heart’s content without compromising his regal appearance or arousing the wrath of his last and reportedly favorite wife.

Thus, Emperor Charlemagne demanded that part of the hill of Le Corton be replanted with white grapes, and the famous white wine vineyard now known as Corton-Charlemagne came to be.  With white wine in hand, Charlemagne was able to drink his beloved wine again, shaky hands, grizzly white beard, and all.