Louis Latour Var
Maison Louis Latour has been cultivating Pinot Noir at the Domaine de Valmoissine since 1989
Following our success in a region which, until then, had been relatively unknown for its wine, at the end of the eighties we decided to create an estate planted exclusively with Pinot Noir at Aups, in Haut Var: the Domaine de Valmoissine. This Pinot Noir is both a pure product of Burgundy tradition and completely new in the region. The very first vines were planted in 1990 on 35 hectares, and the estate has today expanded to over 100 hectares.
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20 Avenue Albert 1er
Tel.: +33 4 94 84 03 45
The project was launched in the mid-1980s, not long after the implantation of Chardonnay in Ardèche. Initial trials, undertaken in collaboration with a wine cooperative in Haut Var, proved to be conclusive. Maison Louis Latour began the search for their own land to establish their estate and, in 1990, the first vines were planted on 35 hectares at Aups. The estate progressively increased in size and today represents more than 100 hectares. Unlike in Ardèche, the area chosen by Maison Latour in Var had never before been planted with vines but, just two kilometres from the village of Aups, was the site of the former collegiate church of Valmoissine, which stood there from the year 900 up to the fifteenth century.
The combination of clay and limestone soils with a fully south-facing aspect was determinant in the choice of this site where the conditions, close to our terroir of choice on the Corton hill, are perfect for this Burgundy grape variety. In the heart of a region of rolling valleys, close to the Verdon Gorges, the Domaine de Valmoissine is situated on the site of the ancient monastery of Valmoissine at 500 metres altitude. It enjoys a southern climate with hot, sunny days but cool nights, which allow the Pinot Noir grapes to brave the high temperatures of summer. The seasons are well defined here with hot summers and cold winters, while the southerly exposure and the altitude limit the risk of spring frost.
From the very beginning, the vineyard management and winemaking techniques employed by Maison Latour in Var have been identical to those used in Burgundy, with the objective of producing a refined and elegant wine of irreproachable quality. Yields are extremely low, in the order of 30 to 35 hectolitres per hectare, thus ensuring good maturities and aromatic concentration. The wine is made in what was formerly the Cave La Verdière, an old wine cooperative that was purchased by Maison Latour. The wine vats were totally renewed in 1997 to provide the best possible conditions for the creation of an exceptional wine.
The Domaine de Valmoissine crafts its Pinot Noir using traditional techniques. After arrival at the cellar, the grapes are totally de-stemmed before fermentation in open stainless steel vats for approximately one week. Following gentle pneumatic pressing to avoid excessive extraction, which would result in harsh green tannins, and then drawing off, the free run juice and the press wine are reassembled. The result is a luminous wine of a deep ruby colour, with supple and smooth tannins offering a supreme harmony between soft red fruit aromas and subtle tannins.
All the elegance of Pinot Noir, cultivated in the contrasting climate of the Verdon hills, is revealed here by application of the finest Burgundy winemaking skills.
Extensive renovation work and improvements to the cellar at La Verdière were undertaken at the end of 2011. A new 100m2 tasting cellar was built in the image of the one constructed in Ardèche. The cellar is open all year round, offering a convivial atmosphere with information about the domain and personalised guidance on tasting and purchasing the Domaine de Valmoissine wine, as well as a selection of our wines from Ardèche and Burgundy. Full information is available on the cellar's website.