Sustainable Viticulture at
Domaine Louis Latour

A (Complex) Philosophy

For the last 20 years, our estate has been driven by sustainable agriculture,

“The best things in life are the simplest”. Far be it from us to contradict this adage, yet the simplistic approach to sustainable development, a complex subject by definition, often loses its meaning; sustainable viticulture is no exception to this rule. There are two fundamental principles that inform our practices at Domaine Latour with respect to sustainable agriculture - experience and observation. At our domain we have never compromised our work in the vineyards with techniques that would be more expeditious but more invasive... this philosophy continues to this day. We use neither insecticides, herbicides, nor chemical fertilizers.

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Boris Champy

Director of Domaine Louis Latour

Son of a family of vineyard owners in Champagne, Boris Champy began his career in oenology in Bordeaux for the Moueix family at Château Petrus. He then spent over ten years as head winemaker at Napa valley's Dominus Estate in California, before becoming Director at Domaine Louis Latour in 2008. Passionate, erudite and meticulous, his search for excellence is a daily pursuit whose aim is to produce wines of stature, finesse and elegance. With great respect for the environment, Boris Champy continuously strives to apply the principles of Maison Louis Latour to his vision of sustainable development and an ever-greater desire to preserve the biodiversity and ecosystems of the vineyard.

Love of detail

"Sustainable viticulture is an addition of small details"

  • Maintaining the landscape

    At the behest of Maison Louis latour, the «Paysage de Corton» association along with other winemakers from the hill of Corton, is exploring the idea of sustainable viticulture in a unique way since 2009. Together, they are confronting the effects of soil erosion and hydrography while at the same time replanting trees and hedges.

  • Fallowed Land

    This technique is employed to regenerate and re-oxygenate the soil after uprooting old vines and before replanting. For a period of one to two years, plants such as clover, rapessed or even mustard seed restore the critical nutritional elements necessary to the regeneration of the soils, preparing the way for future vine plantings.

  • Protecting the ecosystem

    Maison Louis Latour introduced beehives in the heart of the vineyards of Corton on the south-facing slope of the hill. The presence and the reproduction of bees is a highly qualitative component for the ecosystem. This is made possible through a common desire to preserve the area's biodiversity by reducing the impact of humans on our natural surroundings.

  • Respecting the terroir

    At Domaine Louis Latour, young vines on steep slopes are difficult to farm with mechanized equipment therefore we employ the services of Irène, the "Comtoise" mare who is unaffected by the steep slopes. This allow us to avoid compacting the soil making for a deep penetration of the root system thus affording the vine a more consistent irrigation regimen.

  • Canopy management

    Consists of partially removing leaves surrounding the fruit zone. This practice allows for better aeration of the grape bunches and for better dun exposure. Leaf thinning happens in spring on the eastern-facing half of the vine so as to increase the quality of the harvest.

  • Soil management

    is critical for the vine to develop in optimal conditions. This work aerates the soil, eliminating weeds and allowing water to drain more easily which aids in deep root irrigation. In winter, the soils are undisturbed to promote a vegetative ground cover that is highly beneficial to the soil.

  • Making our compost

    Consist of recuperating the pomace from our pressings that we mix with pulverized vine clippings. This practice yet again underscores our respect for the environment and also minimizes waste. With 120 tons of compost per year, we maintain excellent soil quality that not only contributes to the development of subterranean microbial life but promotes the recycling of significant quantities of vegetal matter as well.

  • Organic practices

    allow us to combat vine disease without using pesticides. For example Louis Latour employs mite predators as a sort of biological insecticide. Typhlodromes, mite predators from the Phytoseiidae family, are used to eliminate red spiders.

  • Our weather stations

    have been operational since 1996 in partnership with the university of Dijon and allow us to fine-tune our decision-making in order to best protect the vineyard. In this way, the vineyard's regulation of its own native ecosystem becomes practicable. For example, we do not systematically treat vines midly affected by rot.

  • Geological complexity

    We are keenly focused not only on geological research but pedology as well wich takes a look at the soil's overall, structural profile and underscores that the physical properties of the soil are as important as soil composition: i.e.,soil aeration as its impacts root vigor, overall soil lifecycle and its greater ecosystem (earthworms, etc.)

  • The genetic diversity

    Joined by 50 other domains, Maison Louis Latour is one of the pioneering members of a project concerning greater Burgundy that involves the selection of the finest examples of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from our oldest blocks. This collection of plants allows us to preserve the genetic diversity of these varietals.

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