Since time immemorial, vines have covered most of the hillsides around the region of Voiteur in the Jura first foothills. Their high quality wines were so appreciated by the Romans (from Pliny the Younger and Martial) that an edict from the Emperor Probus in the year 280, declared that many more vines should be planted on the favourable hillsides of Sequanie (the ancient name for Franche Comte).
The history of the vineyards and the wine of Chateau-Chalon, also known as “vin de gelée” (ice wine) or “vin de garde” (literally, wine to keep) is indivisible from that of the Abbey. The oldest Act found concerning the abbey is a certificate from King Lothaire in the year 869. The abbesses had to prove noble birth for four generations to be admitted to the abbey, and this would explain the dispersal of the Chateau-Chalon wine amongst the noble families from all over Europe. This wine, so precious to the abbesses, was also very much appreciated by kings and emperors. Henri IV drank two bottles when signing his treaty with the Duke of Mayenne!
The "vin de garde" of Chateau-Chalon took pride of place on certain special days, for example the enthronement of Tsar Nicholas II, and on the occasion of her coronation, Queen Juliana of Holland enjoyed a glass!