here are 70 villages in France called Saint-Aubin, all in honour of a bishop from Angers in the sixth century. The one on the Côte d'Or is hidden in a valley behind Puligny-Montrachet and Chassagne-Montrachet. Take the N6 towards Lyon and within a few minutes you will be in Saint-Aubin. Right behind the Mont Rachet is the hamlet of Gamay just as the N6 takes a sharp bend to the south-west. Another 500 metres down the road is the exit to Saint-Aubin and you will see the little village grouped around the church dating back to the 10th century.
Archaeological findings in the 1940's show that there were settlements in the area already during the Iron Age. Saint-Aubin was originally known as Oratorium, later as Oroux. The church was dedicated to Saint-Aubin.
It became known as Saint-Aubin d'Oroux and some time later the whole village adopted the name Saint-Aubin. In 1793, in the wake of the French revolution, the government changed the name to the less religious sounding Oroux la Montagne. This did not last for long. In 1802 the commune was officially back as Saint-Aubin.
Today's church is a result of several extensions. The eastern part is the original church, while the middle section with the bell-tower dates back to the 15th and 17th centuries. The western section was added in the 19th century.
Even if Saint-Aubin is only two kilometres away from its mighty neighbours, Chassagne-Montrachet and Puligny-Montrachet, it has been neglected for a long time. Two thirds of the production is white wine and it is mainly this that has given Saint-Aubin a boost in recent years. Very often white Saint-Aubin can be a very good alternative to the more well-known, and more expensive, wines of the Côte de Beaune. There are as many as 20 premier crus and with a number of lieu-dits this makes a total of 29 different names that may be used on premier cru bottles.
© 2013 Ola Bergman