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Louis Latour, flagship producer

It is one of the most recognized wine producers in Burgundy, the largest owner of Grand Cru vineyards on the Côte D'Or, and one of the oldest to operate on the market. He is also one of the rare producers to have his own tanoaria.   

It was in 1731 that the Louis Latour family, headed by Denis Latour (1675–1753), bought vineyards on the Côte de Beaune in Burgundy. At that time, the art of tanoaria was one of the occupations of the family, which eventually expanded its business in the world of wines.

In 1768, already with Jean Latour, son of Denis, in the management of the business, the family moved to the commune of Aloxe-Corton. In this commune, in addition to setting up their own tanoaria, the Latour also invested in the purchase of several plots of land.

Although turbulent, the French Revolution eventually benefited family businesses, as it allowed easy access to farmland, the possibility of planting more vines, as well as the launch of new companies. This is how the Maison Louis Latour was formally born in 1797, a family business that has built a solid reputation over the centuries, based on the balance between tradition and innovation, internationally recognized for the quality of its whites and reds.

The company's grapes are still vinified today in the historic winery, situated next to the Château Corton Grancey, bought by the family in 1891. This winery, older than the château, whose construction was begun in 1832, is one of the oldest in France to operate, and also the oldest to adopt the gravity system. Situated on a gentle hill and built on five levels, it uses gravity to move grapes, musts and wines; protecting them from oxidation and making the work much more practical.

Château Corton Grancey
The winery is one of the oldest in France to operate, and also the oldest to adopt the gravity system
The old toneís in the cellar (above) and the cellars of Louis Latour (below)



Development of a company

In 1860, Louis Latour already totaled 10 hectares of vineyards, which gave rise to the production of more wine, thus allowing the definition of a broader internationalization strategy. In addition to England, where it was already exporting, the list extended to countries such as the United States, Indonesia, Argentina, Romania and Belgium. Over the decades, many others have joined. 

Until the end of the 19th century, all wines were sold in barrels and only then in labeled bottles. The wines then begin to become increasingly known and appreciated by moneyed people, kings and rulers.

In 1867, Louis Latour, representative of the sixth generation of the family, became a wine dealer in Beaune and established his office on Rue deslier Tonnes, where he still remains today. From then on, the company thrives even more. Louis Latour proves to be an excellent entrepreneur, always attentive to innovations, adaptation and development of new winemaking and sales techniques. It was at this time that almost all the wines began to be sold only in bottles, something that contributed to a better preservation of their freshness and elegance.  

But the plague of The Phylloxera, which appears at the end of the century in France and begins to destroy the vineyards, will bring less prosperous times. The damage is terrible. The vineyards die, no more wine is produced and those who live in the business resent it. In the midst of this misfortune, Maison Latour was the one who at the time fought the most against adversity, supporting investigations against the disease without ever giving up on replanting vineyards. In fact, it will be later Louis Noël Latour, a young agricultural engineer belonging to the family who, along with other scholars, finds the solution of the American rootstock resistant to the disease.

But before that, many plants died. And lowering your arms wasn't an option for the Latour. In addition to the replanting of vineyards, the family also invested in the purchase of new plots in places recognized as strategic and of great quality, already thinking about a pest-free future. Other of his investments was in forest properties, in order to ensure sufficient supply of wood for his wintering.

In addition to the replanting of vineyards, the family also invested in the purchase of new plots in recognized strategic and high quality locations
A sustainable wine heritage
Maison Louis Latour



difficult time for the company was the period between the two great wars (1918-1945). Château Corton-Grancey in Aloxe – Courton was even transformed into a field hospital during World War I. During World War II, it was even worse. Instability and fear were in the world. The food was scarce, the people were hungry. When they invaded France, Nazi troops took shelter in the cellars. And they had no pity to besque everything they saw in front of them, including wines, one of the most outstanding and appreciated products. In defense of their wine heritage, many of the producers hid their wines in their cellars behind false walls, and others in the most remote places, including at the bottom of lakes. The production of the wines practically stopped in the moments of war.

When the war ended with the Allied victory over German troops in 1945, the company prepared to react in times of peace. Little by little they were regaining the market. New customers were emerging, wines began to be present in luxury hotels and in the best restaurants, such as the Hotel de Paris in Monte Carlo, the Beau-Rivage in Geneva, or the Ritz in Paris. Quickly, the wines gained international recognition, evidencing themselves as a strong and prestigious brand.

Decades ago, in order to keep up with the changing times, Louis Latour sought to modernize and monitor the technological development of the sector, investing in the late 1970s in the construction of modern facilities on the outskirts of Beaune in Clos Chameroy. This place of production, bottling, warehouse and shipment of wines also has the tanoaria that is still an important part of the company's business. Every year, the tanoaria produces about 3000 barrels (only the barrels are bought outside) that will be used only for 5 years.

Vineyards and respect for the environment

Sustainable agriculture tries to use existing conditions, adapting crops to climate and soil, and benefiting from synergies between living beings that make up the agricultural system. This drastically reduces fertilisers and pesticides, causing nature to be minimally affected. From 1998, Maison Latour became part of the circuit of producers practicing sustainable viticulture, a posture even more implemented since 1999, the year louis fabrice latour - representative of the eleventh generation of the family, and the seventh Louis Latour of the company - took over the command of the company.

Louis Fabrice, representative of the eleventh generation of the family, today at the helm of the company


who joined the company, Louis Fabrice has been working to combine tradition and modernity. Two major significant investments in its management were the renovation, between 2011 and 2012, of the Corton Grancey winery; and also that of Château Corton Grancey, between 2013 and 2014, both in Aloxe-Corton.

The company currently has 48 hectares of vineyards in Burgundy (in Chablis, côtes Chalonnaise and Mâconnais, and Beaujolais). Chablis is the northernmost designation of origin in Burgundy, covering about 5000 hectares that stretch along the slopes that line a 20-kilometre stretch of the Serein River. This region is distinguished by its cool climate and limestone soil that give the Chardonnay variety its famous minerality and acidity. On the Côtes Chalonnaise and Mâconnais, which extends south of the Côte de Beaune, the vines planted centuries ago by the monks of Cluny benefit from limestone soils and excellent sun exposure. The region is well known for its fresh whites and minerals, but also produces powerful and structured reds. Finally, the beaujolais vineyards are implanted in soils with nuances of granite soil, where Gamay is the variety of choice. Fruity wines, mostly used for immediate consumption.

In addition to its own vineyards, Maison Latour also buys grapes from winegrowers in the region. Something that head of viticulture Christophe Deola and director of oenology Charles Thomas carefully oversee.

Out-of-doors innovation

In addition to the vineyards already mentioned, Louis Latour was one of the pioneers in the production of quality wines from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes outside the borders of Burgundy. Its wines of the Chardonnays grape varieties produced in the Ardèche region (since 1979) and pinot noir, produced in the hills of Provence in Côteaux du Verdon (since 1989) have been conquering a growing market.

In Ardèche prevail the soils of clay and limestone. Here, Chardonnay is treated in exactly the same way as if it had been grown in one of the Grand Cru vineyards of the Côte-d'Or. Only the best grapes are used, and the fermentation of must and aging of wines are made in French oak barrels produced by the company. In addition to Chardonnay, Latour has also invested in the Viognier grape variety, from which it produces blend (with Chardonnay) and monocaste wines.

In the Domaine de Valmoissine in Var, Provence, Louis Latour cultivated Pinot Noir in vineyards located five hundred metres above sea level, next to a former monastery. Its climate is Mediterranean, the days are mild and the cold nights, conditions more than perfect for the growth and survival of the caste.

More recently, in 2010, Louis Latour invested in another promising and exciting terroir for the production of Pinot Noir. It is the region of Pierres Dorées, located in the south of Beaujolais characterized by a mild continental climate, clay and limestone soils, and gentle hills where today are implanted more than 20 hectares of vineyards.



WINE TASTING

The distributor of these wines in Portugal is Garcias. The wine tasting was held directly in the company's oldest winery, in Aloxe-Corton, built between 1830 and 1834. Not all wines can be available in our country. Prices (PVP) were withdrawn on the net on several websites, translating the average price at which wines are sold worldwide.  

White

2016 Louis Latour Grand Ardèche

It reveals vivid aromas of ripe white plum, peach, brioche, vanilla, wood notes. In the mouth it is fruity, unctuous, medium structure, with good presence, round, feeling the wood very well integrated. PVP: 13€

2017 Louis Latour Chassagne-Montrachet Blanc

Sourced from one of burgundy's best denominations of origin, this white reveals an aroma of ripe peach, brioche, apple, wood notes. On the palate it is full-bodied, concentrated, creamy, with the notes of barricade to be present elegantly. PVP: 65€

Louis Latour Mersault 1er Cru Charmes 2016

The Charmes vineyard is located in Mersault, the southernmost town of the Côte D'or. With good aromatic intensity, citrus notes of orange, almond, walnut and toast of the wood where he aged stand out.Buttery, creamy, fresh and saline, with long finish. PVP: 60€

Louis Latour Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2016

After finishing the Filoxera attack, the Latour family decided to replace the dead vineyards of Aligoté and Pinot Noir with Chardonnay. This decision led them to create one of the best and most celebrated white wines in Burgundy. In the aroma reveals dried fruit, walnuts and hazelnuts, ripe orange and notes of vanilla. On the palate it is full-bodied, bulky, enveloping, buttery, with saline and wood notes to be adored in the whole. Ends persistently. PVP: 135€

Reds

Louis Latour Domaine Valmoissine Pinot Noir 2016

The sun exposure of the vineyards to the south allow an excellent maturation of the grapes. An aromatic red, clean, with mineral aroma and red fruits, with raspberry and cherry to be evident in the whole. On the palate it is round, full, with good acidity, silky and elegant tannins. It ends with notes of spice.PVP: 13€

Louis Latour Beaune 1er Cru Vignes Franches 2016

Sourced from one of beaune's finest raw première vineyards, this wine reveals a very rich and varied aroma of fresh red fruit jam, raspberries and cherry, cocoa notes, floral nuances and black pepper. Medium structured, with excellent presence and a low-end, very elegant. PVP: 50€

Louis Latour Aloxe Courton 1er Cru Les Chaillots 2016

Aloxe-Corton is the village where the oldest house and winery of the Latour family has been home to for over three centuries. These vineyards are an important part of the company. The name Les Chaillots refers to the stony nature of the soil, where there are many pebbles. In the aroma has fresh red fruit, raspberries, blackberries, cherries, mushrooms and spice, all complemented with notes of wood where it aged. In the mouth it is structured, full, firm, fresh and elegant. PVP: 53€

Louis Latour Château Corton Grancey Grand Cru 2015

Grancey is the nickname of the last owners of the château situated on the road to Corton, before the Latour family acquired it in 1891. This wine is a blend of four Gran Cru vineyards: Bressandes, Perrières, Grèves and Clos du Roi, with its average age being 40 years. Made with high quality grapes, in full maturation state, it is a red with aroma of black fruit, cocoa and spice. In the mouth it is fruity, fresh, mineral, with notes of liquorice, wood well integrated and persistent. PVP: 105€