Le portrait de Joris et Sabine

Living like God in France

.… is this a dream? Fine food, good wine, nice people all round, preferably in the middle of a castle with a view of the nearby vineyards, wouldn’t that be something?

We, that are Sabine and Joris, wanted to try to live this dream and have been looking for a suitable location during our trips to Burgundy.

Until we landed at the eastern end of the Saône valley, almost overlooking Dijon and the vineyards of the Côte d’Or, on the first climbs of the Jura massif – at the foot of Mont Guérin.

We shouldn’t have been the first. About 6000 years ago, when the ancient Celts drove up the Rhone and Saône from the Mediterranean, they found this mountain to be suitable. 2000 years ago the Romans settled below the mountain, along the creek, and built a villa.

Today we call the farm, with its manor house – called “le petit chateau” by the villagers – with the surrounding buildings in the park, the old pool, the orchard and the stream, the brisotte that ripples through the middle of the property, the Roman villa.

And that according to the oldest traces that have been preserved from the place. And because we hope, just like the Romans at the moment, to bring foreigners (you) and wine to the village again.


… Around 6000 years ago, in the Neolithic, the ancient Celts traveled up the Rhône and Saône from the Mediterranean. They notice this well defendable hill and decide to install themselves there. The ramparts and other evidence of a civilization between 3500 and 500 BC have remained. The Gauls descended in the valley and built settlements around the river that has its source there. They call the river Brisotte, after Briso, Gallic goddess of dreams.

Here, at the foot of Mont Guérin, on the Brisotte, the Romans built a villa, – a collection of dwellings – that later gave its name to today’s Montmirey-la-Ville.

Es sind auch sicher die Römer, die den Wein in der Region bringen.

Later, in the Middle Ages, the residents of the villa, “les Villains” in French, work in the countryside in the service of the lords of the huge castle of Montmirey-le Château, where Clothilde, daughter of the King of Burgundy, and wife of the first king of France ( Clovis – Louis 1) is said to have resided. Today the château is just a ruin..

In the times of the Dukes of Burgundy, the village is located between the capitals of Dole (Free County of Burgundy) and Dijon (Duchy of Burgundy). The wine, which was also cultivated here in the village, must not have been that bad; because it was mainly through export that he ensured wealth in the village. The stately houses in the village, moatly constructed after the devastating occupation by the french under Louis XIV, still bear witness to this today. This chapter ended with the arrival of phylloxera in the 19th century.

During the last centuries the villa was owned by the de Cendrecourt family.

At the beginning of the 19th century, during the digging of the basin – which is still in the park today – Roman excavations testify to the earlier presence of a Roman villa.

Hence the name:
“La Villa Romaine”.

During the renovation work, a bit of history opens up for us again and again. In addition to the obligatory flaws hidden by plaster walls, there is also a hidden window, a beautiful roof structure with old beams, old bottles, weapons from the First World War, old stones, remains of antique wallpaper, signs of a previous fire; maybe a piece of Roman brick?

But one thing is certain: the villa has not revealed all its secrets to us yet. We keep searching for treasure and spirit.