INDEED, THE COUNTS LIGER-BELAIR SETTLED
IN VOSNE-ROMANÉE WHEN LOUIS LIGER-BELAIR, A NAPOLEONIC GENERAL,
ACQUIRED THE CHÂTEAU DE VOSNE IN 1815.
The Domaine thereafter grew considerably under the direction of the general and then his adopted son, the son of his sister, the Count Louis-Charles. He married Ludovie Marey and thus became part of the history of this family, owners and wine merchants in Burgundy since 1720.
At the death of Count Edgar, son of Count Louis-Charles, the wine estate, family ownership, extended over more than 60 hectares (approximately 150 acres), mainly in the Côte de Nuits, gathering some of the most prestigious “climats” of Burgundy. It included the “monopoles” of La Romanée, la Tâche, la Grande Rue, a large part of Malconsorts, Chaumes, Reignots, Brûlées, Suchots in Vosne Romanée, Vaucrains in Nuits-Saint-Georges, Clos de Vougeot and Cras in Vougeot, Chambolle, Morey as well as Chambertin.
Grandson of Count Louis-Charles, the Count Henri Liger-Belair, elder of the family and great-grandfather of Louis-Michel, died in 1924, leaving a widow and 10 children at the head of 24 hectares (59.3053 acres) of vines and Château de Vosne-Romanée. Everything continued until his wife’s death in 1931. The ten children were still there but two were minors. The law of that time required that all children reach legal adulthood to deal with the inheritance, failing which the estate must be sold. In our case, three family members did not wish to wait for the majority of the 2 minors, and therefore imposed the sale of the whole wine property.
It was a sad day on August 31st, 1933 at the Town hall of Vosne-Romanée when all the vines were sold by judicial auction. The children thus witnessed the departure from their heritage of La Tâche, les Malconsorts, les Brûlées… Two of the children, Just, a priest, and his brother, Count Michel, grandfather of Louis-Michel, joined together to buy back La Romanée, les Reignots and les Chaumes, whose management was then entrusted to local winegrowers.
Count Michel died in 1941 during the war, before he could redevelop the estate. His son, Count Henry, Louis-Michel’s father, joined the army in 1947 and pursued a brilliant career that led to the rank of general, as his ancestor six generations earlier. He did not directly run the vineyard, leaving the work of the vine to share-croppers in the village and marketing to Burgundian merchants, but maintained and developed the Domaine as much as he could.