Creation Vinium

Historic Winery

Corton Grancey, the heart of Domaine Latour

The Corton Grancey Cuverie is nestled amongst the vineyards in the village of Aloxe-Corton on an exceptional site with unforgettable views over the Corton hillside. Construction of the Cuverie began in 1832 and was the first purpose designed and built winery in France. It is built over five levels into the hill; this allows the entire winemaking process to be carried by gravity. All of Domaine Louis Latour wines are made and aged at the Corton Grancey Cuverie.

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Historic Winery

Corton Grancey, the heart of Domaine Latour

The Corton Grancey Cuverie was built by the Marquis de Cordoba, completed in 1834, who bequeathed it to the Earl of Grancey. In 1891 the Latour family bought the Cuverie, Château and surrounding vineyards, two thirds of which had been destroyed by Phylloxera. The vineyards were replanted and went on to become the heart and soul of Domaine Louis Latour.

The design of the Cuverie was revolutionary for its time, it was built over five levels so all movement during the winemaking process to could be carried out by gravity. Pinot Noir grapes are harvested and taken in small baskets to the Cuverie courtyard where they are weighed, sorted and de-stemmed. They are then taken to the first floor by lift in large double walled 'cauldron shaped' metal cars. Cold or hot water can be put in the wall of the cars to regulate the temperature of the grapes as needed. Each new stage of the winemaking process is marked by a move down to the next floor of the winery which ends in the cellars where the wines are matured in oak barrels. Chardonnay grapes are pressed after sorting and then put directly into barrels for the entire winemaking process.

The Cuverie's first floor is a large vaulted room filled with 45 large open wooden tanks. Each harvest they are filled with grapes from the cars which are mounted on a clever system of rails running above the tanks. The first alcoholic fermentation lasts for 14 days, during which time foot pigeages or punching down and other work is all carried out by hand. After fermentation the free run juice is drawn off before the remaining grape materials are taken from the tanks and gently pressed to obtain the first press juice. The free run and press juices are then blended and placed in 228 litre wooden barrels and put in the cellar for the second malolactic fermentation and maturation. All of Louis Latour's barrels are made in-house at their cooperage.

The historic cellars were dug 20 metres underground into the bedrock of Corton Grand Cru Perrières. Here, in the atmospheric wine cellar, around 800 barrels and 250,000 bottles are stored. The cellar has perfect natural conditions for wine storage; no light, vibrations or variations in heat and moisture occur to disturb the wines during the ageing process.

The Cuverie is still the historic heart of Domaine Louis Latour and was described by Pierre Leon Gauthier, author of Le Clos Mouron as being "one of the most beautiful palaces built in the glory of the Lord of Wine."

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