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Latour ex-director Jean-Paul Gardere dies

Jean-Paul Gardere, director of Chateau Latour for 25 years between 1964 and 1989, has died in Bordeaux aged 93.

Gardere, who would have been 94 in May, is credited with reinvigorating Latour in the second half of the 20th Century.

As director alongside Henri Martin, he undertook extensive replanting in the vineyard, introduced drainage channels for the vines and also oversaw the launch of the chateau’s second and third wines, Forts de Latour and Pauillac.

‘I loved Latour and I spent my life working as hard as I could for it,’ he is quoted as saying in Bordeaux Legends: The 1855 First Growth Wines, a book by this author.

‘Gardere was a hugely important figure,’ John Kolasa, another ex-director of Latour who was originally hired by Gardere, told decanter.com. ‘He laid the foundations for everything the property enjoys today. He was also an extremely kind man.’

Born in Margaux to a family of resin tappers from Les Landes, Gardere began his career as a courtier in Medoc, despite being outside the tightly-knit group of brokers whose families had been working in Bordeaux for generations.

A memorial service will be held at the church in Margaux, but no date has been fixed.

Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux

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