On October 22d, the manager of famous Château Latour in Pauillac announced on Twitter with one word “Certified”, that the entire estate of the Premier Cru Classé in Médoc is now officially certified as organic by Ecocert.
Certified !! pic.twitter.com/hI3KENC7yp
— Frederic Engerer (@7Vignes) October 22, 2018
Château Latour, owned by François Pinault since 1993, is not the first of the 1855 Grand Crus to be certified organic.
But it is the first of first growths (1er Grand Cru Classés) to be certified organic for a red wine since its fellow Premier Grand Crus (Château Margaux, Lafitte-Rothschild, Mouton-Rothschild, Haut-Brion, Pétrus, Cheval Blanc and Ausone) haven’t claimed the green label yet.
The wines of Château Latour (Les Forts de Latour and Le Pauillac de Château Latour) will be officially certified organic from the 2018 vintage.
Organic Wines among Bordeaux 1855 Classified Crus
Compared to some other regions, and despite the wealth generated by Bordeaux’ top wine estates, the Bordeaux region is not quite a leading French wine region when it comes to organic practices.
The climate, with its strong influence of the neighboring Atlantic Ocean, might to be blame here. Most top estates tend to move slowly as well, especially when it comes to taking risk with the quality of the harvest.
The 2018 vintage, whose grapes were finished picking just a few weeks ago has been a typical example of how badly mildiou (powdery mildew) can affect the vineyards here when spring is wet.
Yet, many brave and eco-conscious Chateaus have set the trend towards more respect for the environment in Bordeaux.
In Barsac and Sauternes, Châteaux Climens and Guiraud, also 1st growths, had already been certified, but for their sweet white wines (liquoreux).
Château Pontet-Canet, a 5th classified Grand Cru of Pauillac had obtained organic certification from Ecocert and biodynamic certification from Biodyvin back in 2010, with even further certification for biodynamic viticulture from Demeter in 2014.
In Margaux, the 2d growth Château Palmer has been managing its vineyards using biodynamic techniques since 2013 and was certified for it last year in 2017.
Château Montrose, the 2d growth of Saint-Estèphe has already converted 35% of its vineyards to organic viticulture.
Many Chateaus in Médoc are conducting trials with organic practices over parts of their vineyards and expanding progressively, such as Pédesclaux, Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, Marquis de Terme or Château Giscours.
On the right bank in Saint-Emilion, Château Fonroque has been a leader of organic and biodynamic practices with organic status gained back in 2006, while Château Angelus announced its conversion earlier this year.
Other organic wines in Saint-Emilion include Cadet-Bon, Moulin du Cadet, and Château Coutet.
Overall, slowly but surely, Bordeaux is certainly headed towards more organic practices.
Newspaper LeMonde.fr reports that 15% of the 1855 Curs Classés are now converted, when only 8% of the Bordeaux wine production is.
Chateau Margaux has reportedly started its conversion as well.
The announcement that Château Latour has now joined the ranks of the organic Chateaus is certainly going to amplify the movement, and even speed it up perhaps?