Louis Latour, who led the modernisation of Burgundy wine business Maison Louis Latour during 40 years in charge of the company, has died at the age of 83.
Born in 1932, Latour built the business into a hugely successful négociant and producer, taking charge of the company in 1958 and remaining in post until he was succeeded by his son, Louis-Fabrice Latour, in 1999.
Innovations included the company’s move into the Ardèche to produce Chardonnay in 1979, and a similar project to make Pinot Noir at Domaine de Valmoissine, in the Var, in 1989.
Latour’s tenure also saw the construction of a modern winemaking facility, Clos Chameroy, on the outskirts of Beaune in the late 1970s, and the opening of subsidiaries in the US and the UK, in 1986 and 1990 respectively.
The 10th generation of the family to run the business, he also presided over Maison Louis Latour’s bicentennial celebrations in 1997.
‘He had a good life,’ Louis-Fabrice Latour said of his father. ‘He was one of the grands monsieurs of Burgundy.
‘He has done great things for Maison Latour. We are what we are today because of him.’
Louis Latour’s funeral is due to take place this Saturday, 9 April; he will be laid to rest in the cemetery at Aloxe-Corton.