Laura Lardy

Can’t Escape the Wine Fate

Quick facts:

Location: Le Vivier in the Fleurie cru, Beaujolais, France

Owner and winemaker: Laura Lardy

Vineyard area: 5.5 hectares (13.6 acres), rented from Laura’s father

Vineyard management: practicing organic, awaiting certification

Soils: granite, shale, sand depending on the site

Main varieties: Gamay, Chardonnay

Winemaking: traditional semi-carbonic maceration for the reds, direct press for the white. Spontaneous fermentation only, old neutral casks of different sizes. Minimum sulfur at bottling.

Annual production (approx.): 15,000 bottles

 

Fun facts:

  • Laura is the 4th generation of a Beaujolais winemaking family; both Laura’s father Lucien and brother Yohan make wines under their own names as well.
  • She takes care of the vineyards rented from her father, which she started to convert to organics the moment she took them over in 2017
  • Most of her Gamay vines are quite old, and Laura enjoys how they express the diverse nature of the soils in the different crus she works with (Morgon, Fleurie, Chénas, Moulin á Vent)
  • To showcase this variety, terroir complexity and fruitiness even more, Laura uses only the absolute minimum of sulfur (at bottling).

 

Jump to wines | Laura’s Instagram

 

“I tried to escape the winemaking fate, but to no avail – after a couple of years in a different company, I went back to the family estate in 2015. And in 2017, when I was 27, the first vintage of my own wine was born,” Laura Lardy shrugs with a smile when recalling her apparently inevitable roots. After all, she is the fourth generation of a Fleurie winemaking family, as her ancestors started a mixed farm in 1870. Her father Lucien and brother Yohan are both active vignerons, making wines under their respective names, and Laura herself recalls how she was always keen on following her father in the vineyards from a tender age.

Her path is different in her devotion to organics–she started to convert the 5.5ha of vines she rents from her father as soon as she took them over, led by the conviction that preserving the indigenous yeasts on the grape skins and respecting the soils leads to fewer chemical interventions in the cellar as well as a more faithful terroir reflection in the wine. “I knew that if I was to make wine, it would have to be this way, no matter how hard it is in the beginning,” Laura asserts. “I try to be as respectful of the environment in my daily life, so it’s obvious I want to be just as careful about the ecology and waste management in my work.”

“I love Gamay–it’s so versatile and can take so many different flavor profiles depending on the soil, slope, microclimate…” Laura enthuses, and her wines prove her right: her Fleurie is violet-driven and floral as its name suggests; the Moulin á Vent is all glou, silky and fruity in its youth, while the Chénas offers a more heady image with distinct acidity and tannins prone to cellaring; and the Morgon, thanks to its old vines on blue schist soil, sings in spicier yet racy tones. 

All the wines are made using the regionally typical semi-carbonic maceration of whole grapes in concrete vats, then slowly pressed into old neutral barrels or foudres. “I like to age my wines in wood not because of the oak taste, but because it naturally smoothes and de-gasifies them,” Laura explains. All fermentations happen naturally, and no enological additives are used save for a little bit of sulfur at bottling (20ppm max), as too much of it would “limit the terroir complexity and fruit,” she says, admitting she’s very lucky to be able to work in her father’s cellar that’s well equipped for this style of work. She also makes a bit of white Beaujolais Villages from young Chardonnay wines on granite with similar simplicity in the cellar. 

“The Beaujolais landscape is one of the most extraordinary I know, offering beauty every single day. So, to be a part of it and promote it respectfully through the wines I make is bliss,” says the young vigneronne with a determined spark that makes us feel that–as pleasurable as her wines already are–this is a curious, progressive force that is definitely worth siding with!

 

Wines

 


Beaujolais-Villages Blanc — Back to the top

Grapes: Chardonnay

Vineyard: clay-limestone on granite subsoil, vines 4–15 years old. Practicing organics

Making of: Grapes are hand-harvested and sorted, then directly pressed into neutral demi-muid (600L) where they ferment spontaneously and then rest for 3 months. No fining or filtration, minimum sulfur at bottling.

Personality: succulent peaches, apples and quince, vibrant acidity – the perfect drinking white (“vin du comptoir” as the French would say)


Chénas La Fayarde — Back to the top

Grapes: Gamay

Vineyard: 40 years old vines on sand and granite, north-east exposure. Practicing organics

Making of: Grapes are hand-harvested and sorted, then spontaneously ferment as whole bunches in concrete tanks (traditional carbonic maceration). Slow press directly into old barrels where the wine rests for 6 months. No fining or filtration, minimum sulfur at bottling.

Personality: intense fruit with pronounced tannins and a long acidic finish that make this wine perfect also for cellaring. Serve chilled to enjoy its fruity notes


Moulin á Vent Le Mont — Back to the top

Grapes: Gamay

Vineyard: 65 years old vines on sand and pink granite, north exposure. Practicing organics

Making of: Grapes are hand-harvested and sorted, then spontaneously ferment as whole bunches in concrete tanks (traditional carbonic maceration). Slow press directly into old neutral oak barrels where the wine rests for 6 months. No fining or filtration, minimum sulfur at bottling.

Personality: glou glou, silky and fruity. This one is pure pleasure, especially when served chilled.


Fleurie Les Côtes — Back to the top

Grapes: Gamay

Vineyard: 50 years old vines on sand and black granite, south-east exposure. Practicing organics

Making of: Grapes are hand-harvested and sorted, then spontaneously ferment as whole bunches in concrete tanks (traditional carbonic maceration). Slow press directly into old 3000-liter foudre where the wine rests for 9 months. No fining or filtration, minimum sulfur at bottling.

Personality: floral as its name suggests! Violets and dark fruit dance in this velvety charming red, best served chilled.


Morgon Côte du Py — Back to the top

Grapes: Gamay

Vineyard: 60 years old vines on blue schist, south exposure. Practicing organics

Making of: Grapes are hand-harvested and sorted, then spontaneously ferment as whole bunches in concrete tanks (traditional carbonic maceration). The juices are drained and then later assembled with the pressed must and aged in old neutral oak barrels, for 6 months. No fining or filtration, minimum sulfur at bottling.

Personality: spicy yet racy. This one definitely shows its noble terroir and old vines.