|Maison Louis Latour expands in Beaujolais|
|Written by Gemma McKenna|
|Tuesday, 11 December 2012 12:59|
Maison Louis Latour has taken control of Château des Labourons in Beaujolais and is calling on other companies to buy land and launch new estates in order to build the region’s reputation.
President of the Burgundy estate and negociant Louis-Fabrice Latour, told Harpers that more competition would help revistalise Beaujolais.
The house signed an 18-year lease on 18ha of land in Fleurie lastg week, which will remain under family ownership. The wine will be sold under its Henry Fessy label.
“We need more companies like Fessy buying some land and launching new chateaux, like in Burgundy. Competition is healthy,” said Latour.
He didn’t rule out further acquisitions in the region for Latour, saying “we will keep looking”. “You’ve got to be investing in vineyards,” he said.
“There are some lessons to be taken from the Burgundy region and applied to Beaujolais,” said Latour.
He was clear that Beaujolais’ reputation had improved in recent times. “We have more support from the press and buyers, now we have to convince the general public. We touched the bottom a few years ago, but it will still take time.” The UK market is still key, he added. “It is the biggest market for Fleurie - and in order for us to help penetrate the UK market we need a strong Fleurie presence.”
"Beaujolais has been very fortunate to have had very good vintages since 2009 - that’s almost four great vintages in a row. It will come back by the cru,” he predicted.
As for Burgundy this year, Latour admitted prices would most likely rise by 10-15% following the short harvest. “This is one of the smallest srops since 1978. Customers understand even if they don’t like it too much.”