Louis Latour Ardèche
An exceptional terroir to express our Burgundian know-how
Maison Louis Latour is proud to remain one of the most innovative houses in Burgundy and to have done this whilst keeping our traditional family values. We have been making wines and working in the Ardèche since 1979. Here Chardonnay thrives on the outstanding terroir and we use the same winemaking techniques as we do in Burgundy. We decided to plant Chardonnay here because the vineyards are positioned on hillside clay limestone soils and are perfectly suited to this grape. We make no compromise on these wines and their quality is recognised worldwide.
Maison Louis Latour has been using its winemaking know-how in the Côteaux de l'Ardèche since the late 1970s. After a 12 year research project we selected the terroirs best suited to the Chardonnay variety, the grape also used in the white Grand Cru wines of Burgundy. Here Chardonnay benefits from the Ardèche's Mediterranean climate and its geographical location, which can be considered a meeting point between northern and southern France. Unlike in Burgundy, the vines are not subject to uncertain weather conditions and the grapes are able to attain full ripeness each year. These factors, when combined with the region's high altitude of around 270 metres and its clay limestone soils, are the reasons behind the remarkably consistent quality, and balance of our Ardèche wines. They are characterised by southern fruit ripeness combined with a freshness and acidity more akin to the wines of Burgundy.
Maison Louis Latour works closely with around 100 local growers who, between them, own 380 hectares of vines. To ensure the quality of our wines we only buy grapes. All the growers are under long term contracts and we work closely with each to help them adopt sustainable viticultural and fair working practices whilst also adhering to our strict requirements for grape quality. We specify minimum intervention in the vineyard, optimal grape ripeness and low yields of 45 hectolitres per hectare, a similar yield to those found in Burgundy. Winegrowers are paid in accordance to the size of their plots and quality of their work rather than the quantity of grapes harvested. In most cases we harvest the grapes on behalf of our growers.
In 1986 Louis Latour built a state of the art winery in the village of Alba-La Romaine. The winery gave us the ability track every individual parcel of grapes from arrival to bottle and to closely monitor the entire winemaking process. On arrival the grapes are moved to the press by gravity, to protect them from damage, where they are gently pressed in a closed environment which protects the grapes and juice from oxidation. Fermentation is in stainless steel tanks where temperature and hydrometry (measurement of sugar content) are automatically monitored. However, tradition is never overshadowed by new technology at Louis Latour and our head winemaker Alain Berthon remains faithful to traditional Burgundy winemaking techniques which respect the natural evolution and authenticity of our wines. He works with precision in order to express our house style which is characterised by finesse and elegance. Today we make four wines in the Ardèche: Ardèche Chardonnay, Grand Ardèche Chardonnay, Ardèche Viognier and Duet Chardonnay Viognier.
Since the 1990s we have selected of our best Chardonnay parcels and cuvées to create the Grand Ardèche Chardonnay. Like our Grand Crus, these wines are aged in barrels from our cooperage in Burgundy for around 10 months before blending and bottling. Grand Ardèche Chardonnay always impresses with its balance and exceptionally rich aromas.
Our wine tasting room and shop is situated amongst the vines in Alba-La Romaine and is open to the public all year round. Here, in a friendly environment, you can taste our Ardèche range along with a selection of our wines from Burgundy.