Griotte-Chambertin is a Grand Cru vineyard and corresponding appellation of the Cote de Nuits in Burgundy. The vineyard site (climat) is located in the lower-central section of the Grand Cru belt in Gevrey-Chambertin.
The Griotte-Chambertin appellation was created in July 1937, along with those of its eight Grand Cru neighbors. It currently covers the production of around 12,000 bottles of wine per year, from 6.7 acres (2.7ha) of vines rows.
Due to a subtle topographical change on the slopes, Griotte-Chambertin faces north-east, rather than the ideal east or south-east of the other Grand Crus. The site's aspect means that its vines are not fully exposed to the morning sunshine, which contributes to the fresher, less masculine style of its wines.
Although the established style of the Gevrey-Chambertin Grand Crus lies at the more intense, richer end of the scale, Griotte-Chambertin wines are among the most sought after. This is not only because the site produces a smaller, more exclusive quantity of wine, but also because its quality and style are more consistent as a result of its limited size. Griotte's southern neighbor Charmes-Chambertin is often maligned for being too large (when combined with Mazoyeres it covers more than 75 acres/30ha) and therefore inconsistent. On average, a Griotte-Chambertin wine commands a 25% higher price than one from Charmes-Chambertin and nearly twice that of Chapelle-Chambertin to the north. While it is generally accepted that the Grand Crus on the lower mid-slope are of lesser quality than those higher up, Griotte-Chambertin is the exception.
The soils of the Griotte-Chambertin site are well drained and stony, with have a thin layer of pebble-strewn, chalky topsoil over a deep, rocky base. The percentage of clay reduces slightly towards the higher edge of the site, giving way to drier, looser limestone. The regional climate is of continental type, producing relatively hot, dry summers and cool, crisp winters. Particularly in summer, this climate type brings high diurnal temperature variation, which helps to maintain a balance between natural sugars and acidity in the wines.
The Chambertin half of the Griotte-Chambertin name originally applied only to the lieu-dit that has now become the Le Chambertin and Chambertin-Clos-de-Beze sites. Such was the prestige of the wines from this ancient vineyard that its name was appended not only to the surrounding vineyards (including Griotte) but also to Gevrey village, resulting in the modern Gevrey-Chambertin form.