The Patriarche cellars are the largest in Burgundy and play a prominent role in the tourism industry of the region, and especially of the city of Beaune where they are located. Every year, wine lovers from France and abroad rush to the labyrinths of vaulted galleries, where several million bottles of Burgundy wines lie dormant while waiting to be tasted.
This reputation has been built over the centuries, since the creation of Maison Patriarche Father and Son by Jean-Baptiste Patriarche. Installed in Beaune in 1780, the convent was acquired on August 23rd 1796. At that time, he acquired the Visitandines Convent. The galleries located under the convent buildings were an ideal place to set up his wine trade. After World War II, André Boisseaux, then owner of the convent, bought up neighbouring cellars (about 35) from the beginning of the 50's, thus creating "the largest underground cellars of Burgundy", that are several kilometers long. Nowadays, the head office is still located within this mythical place.
What was the state of the wine trade in Burgundy, when Jean-Baptiste Patriarche laid the foundations of what would become one of the oldest and most prestigious institutions in the region?
It should be noted that Burgundy's vineyard was established more than 2000 years ago, imported by the Romans after their conquest of Gaul. Backed by this long tradition, in the 18th century the wines of Burgundy already enjoyed a solid reputation. Wine merchant and producer was a relatively recent profession and promptly brought about major change in the wine industry.
Wine merchants and producers such as Jean-Baptiste Patriarche don't produce wine themselves. They buy it from the winemakers to age it in their cellars and then resell it. In addition, the increased use of glass bottles during this century contributed to boost their activity. As a matter of fact, these containers increase the storage life and thus leave time for the aromas of the wines to evolve in different ways. This became a real commercial asset, and wine lovers started looking for old wines.
By the end of the 18th century, thanks to the dynamism of the wine merchants and producers, wine lovers from abroad were also very interested in Burgundy wines. Meanwhile, Jean-Baptiste Patriarche also met his first international success, exporting his wines to the United Kingdom, Belgium and the Netherlands.
The rich story of the Maison Patriarche is told during the visit of our cellars, thanks to interactive video terminals in several languages (French, English, German, Italian, Dutch, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Japanese). To live this experience, you can book your visit directly on this site.