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After the ravages of the phylloxera epidemic at the end of the 19th century the Latour family took the then unusual decision to tear up the dead Aligoté and Pinot Noir vines and replace them with Chardonnay. This decision leads them to create one of Burgundy's most celebrated white whites.
Today the Latour family owns 11 hectares which makes them the biggest owner in the appellation. The Latour's Corton-Charlemagne vineyards are located on a prime section of the Corton hillside where the south-easterly aspect ensures maximum exposure to the sun. The fruit is harvested as late as possible to guarantee maximum ripeness.
In Burgundy, the harvest is over for most farmers. It has been a year with a lot of heat both in July and August. A huge problem this year has been leaf-thinning and canopy management. Those who have not paid enough attention to the leaf-thinning experienced problems with sunburned grapes.
In Cote d’Or, it is especially the heat that has been tricky this season. First and foremost, some grapes have been burned by the sun resulting in raisins that the critical winegrower will not want in the cellar. Secondly, too much sun for a longer period caused stress among the vines and thus shut down the ripening. The result is grapes that look ripe but are still not ripe in taste. On the other hand, the most critical winegrowers report of really good grapes in the winery. Producers up north in Chablis are also reporting a satisfactory harvest.