La Croix Rameau is a very small and relatively unknown Vosne-Romanee 1er cru located in the northeast corner of Romanee Saint-Vivant.
The history of this very small climate is somewhat unclear and this also translates into some quite blurry areas in the history of Romanee-Saint-Vivant. The main question is: Was La Croix Rameau once a part of Romanee Saint-Vivant?
In this article I will try to gather the avaible information about La Croix Rameau, to see if it’s possible to explore the history of this climate a little further.
It should be noted that this is work in progress, and I will continue to update the article as new informations becomes available.
The current owners on La Croix Rameau
There are three owner on La Croix Rameau, and the total area is around 0.60 ha. The largest owner is Domaine Lamarche with 0.21 ha, the second largest is Coudray Bizot with 0.20 ha and lastly we have Cacheaux with 0.16 ha.7.
Lamarche owns the plot located “inside” Romanee-Saint-Vivant” and Coudray-Bizot and Cacheaux have the two plots in the corner below Romanee-Saint-Vivant – see map below.
La Croix Rameau – historic informations
After some research it becomes clear that the history of this climate isn’t the most well documented in Burgundy.
Lavalle1 (1855) doesn’t mention La Croix Rameau – or any other Vosne climate that could be identified as this small corner on the boarder to Romanee Saint-Vivant. According to Lavalle the area of Romanee Saint-Vivant was 9 ha 54 ares and 30 cent – with the owners Jondot and Ernest Marey-Monge.
Danguy & Aubertin2 are the first to mention La Crois Rameau in 1882. They include La Croix Rameau as deuxieme classe as Au-dessus des Malconsorts, Les Chaumes, Cros Parantoux. The owners in 1892 were Fermouche and Maignot according to Danguy & Aubertin. The owners of Romanee Saint-Vivant were Les heriteres Marey in 1882 – with no information about the size of the vineyards from Danguy & Aubertin.
The last main historic source is Rodier3 (1920) doesn’t mention La Croix Rameau in my version of his classification of the vineyards of Burgundy. The area of Romanee Saint-Vivant was 9 ha 54 ares and 30 cent – the same as Lavalle in 1855 – and according to Rodier the owners were Gaudemet, Louis Latour, Marey-Monge and Moillard-Grivot. The three main sources therefore indicates that La Croix Rameau was established before 1892, but when was Croix Rameau first mentioned?
Cadastre maps of Vosne-Romanee from 1827
After some further research I discovered that La Croix Rameau was included in the old cadastre maps of Vosne-Romanee already in 1827 – see map below.
The map show La Croix Rameau already then had almost the same area and location as the current Croix Rameau vineyard. There are perhaps a few exceptions, as it seem one plot has been included in Romanee-Saint-Vivant and there are some houses and gardens that have expanded slightly into the vineyard area. Otherwise the vineyard seem relatively unchanged from the current vineyard.
So it seems like Lavalle forgot to mention La Croix Rameau in 1855, and the same is case for Rodier in 1920 – I have however seen informations that indicate that La Croix Rameau is mentioned in some versions of Rodiers book. So the answer is clear .. La Croix Rameau was established and known before 1827.
A part of Romanee Saint-Vivant?
The early history of La Croix Rameau just after the revolution is quite unclear, and related to the early history of Romanee Saint-Vivant.
In 1791 Nicolas Joseph Marey acquired the three main sections of Romanee Saint-Vivant (biens nationaux) – the deal included Le Cloux des Neuf Journaux and Le Cloux des Quatre journaux, and Le Cloux de Moytant – in total 18 journaux equivalent to 6.17 ha. – see map below.
Source: Map from Musee de la Sommellerie.
Some sources mention that Marey acquired four sections, but it’s unclear what the fourth section could have been, and the total area of the three plots mentioned is 18 journeaux. I haven’t seen any information – so far – about Marey acquirering plots of La Croix Rameau in connection with this deal, but it is possible that Marey bought additional plots in another deal.
In connection with this deal it’s mentioned that Vivant Maignot, the former régisseur of the Romanee Sait-Vivant monastary, acquired 8 ouvres of vineyard called La Plante 7, believed to be located in the lower part of or below Romanee Saint-Vivant.
I haven’t seen any solid information about the location of La Plante, but it’s likely that the 8 ouvres are a part of La Croix Rameau today. The main (and rather weak) evidence is that Maignot is mentioned among the owners of La Croix Rameau by Danguy and Aubertin2 in 1892.
Maignot is not among the current owners on La Croix Rameau, but if we go some generations back, we find the name Maignot in the Lamarche family three. The link between Maignot and Lamarche is via the Grivelet family in Chambolle. Francoise Marie Grivelet (1878 – 1955) who was married to Henri Theodore Lamarche in 1898, was the daughter of Claude Emmanuel Grivelet and Marie Maignot (1851 – 1878) – and Marie Maignot is mentioned as coming from a Vosne vigneron family 9.
If the Lamarche plot is from the original Maignot holdings, then La Plante could perhaps be identified as the southern part of La Croix Rameau – including the current Lamarche holdings and perhaps even the Cacheaux plots. Lamarche today own 0.21 ha, and Maignot originally acquired 0,34 ha in 1791 – it’s therefore likely that even the Cacheux plots also were a part of La Plante – as this plot is 0,16 ha. The total area of the Lamarche and Cacheux plots is 0,37 ha … rather close to the 0,34 ha (8 ouvrees) acquired by Maignot in 1791.
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