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Laurent Ponsot to leave family winery in Burgundy

Laurent Ponsot, winemaker at the prestigious Domaine Ponsot, has confirmed that he will leave his family estate to set up on his own in Burgundy.

Laurent Ponsot, the famous Domaine Ponsot winemaker in Burgundy, will create his own entity and leave the family estate.

Laurent Ponsot is the fourth-generation winemaker at Domaine Ponsot and, at 60 years old, has decided that he wants something new.

‘The official reason is that I’m at retirement age but I don’t want to retire,’ he said to Decanter.com. ‘I want to create something new with my oldest son, Clément.’

Laurent Ponsot will still retain 25% ownership of Domaine Ponsot. His sisters, Rose-Marie, Catherine and Stéphanie, own the other 75%.

‘I own some vineyards,’ Ponsot said. He has decided to create a négociant business in his own name, buying in grapes from friends, too. ‘I’ll have an involvement in the vineyard, so as not to be merely a buyer of grapes. A real joint venture,’ he said.

‘The word “négoce” is not a bad one; without négoce or maison, Burgundy would not be Burgundy,’ he added.

The Ponsot business and  winery will be based in the village of Gilly-les-Citeaux, in the Vougeot area and labelled in Vougeot itself.

A few wines could be released later this year, but the first proper tranche of Laurent Ponsot wines are set to be released in 2019, from the 2017 vintage. ‘I own a few wines from 2015 but I prefer to wait a little and market them, maybe, by the end of the year,’ he said.

Ponsot is also writing a book about his part in the downfall of wine fraudster Rudy Kurniawan, currently serving a 10-year prison sentence in the US. Ponsot helped the FBI prosecute Kurniawan and is famous in the story for flying across the Atlantic to personally intervene at an auction involving Kurniawan wines. Publication is scheduled for the end of the year; ‘if I have time to finish writing’, he said.

The Laurent Ponsot reds line-up contains Chambertin, Clos St-Denis, Griotte-Chambertin, Chambolle Musigny and 1er Cru Les Charmes and Gevrey Chambertin. White wines include Montrachet, Corton-Charlemagne, Meursault Genevrières, Meursault Charmes, Meursault Perrières, St-Romain and Blagny, he confirmed.

Editing by Chris Mercer

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