Situated within the heart of the Beaune AOC lie the 42 Premier Crus, extending to some 270 ha in total, with the vines planted mid-slope and all with an easterly or south easterly aspect, gaining much needed sunlight and warmth to combat the more exposed and less protected vineyards of the commune. The soil here is Argovian marl, paler in colour, and denser in parts, which gives a richer, more muscular structure to the red wines. Drainage is key here, with higher clay content, and the best Premier Cru all lie on slopes that are both steeper and contain more pebbles and thinner soils. Of all the 42 Premier Cru, the most notable is Clos du Roi (The Royal Wine). Named as it was so often favoured by the Kings of France in their day, it sits on a tiny strip of sand and clay deposits, which gives a degree more heat retention and ripening to the Pinot Noir, tasting almost precocious in its youth.