Corsica, France: Francois Labet
Maison Francois Labet is a negociant for small domaines and chateaux in Burgundy and also produces a range of AOC wines from Burgundy and Rhone under its own label. Francois Labet views differ from some on winemaking and has two separate “hats” – one Chateau de La Tour Clos Vougeot and the other Domaine Pierre & Francois Labet based mostly around Beaune where he also directs the winegrowing and commercial activities of his family's property. Chateau de la Tour was built in 1890 by the ancestors of the current owners, the Labet and D'Achelette families, who trace their roots in wine back to the end of the 15th century. Chateau de La Tour is the largest and one of the most important producers in Clos Vougeot. The domaine itself is located right in the vineyard on the northern side of the Clos Vougeot, with holdings of six hectares of old vines in Clos Vougeot from which the Vougeot and a Vieilles Vignes are made (the latter hailing from vines between eighty and one hundred years of age). The domaine is one of the few owners in the Clos Vougeot that continue to practice organic viticulture. Francois has been organic since 1992 and has started to encourage the growth of natural grasses between the vines to compete with the vines.