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Sniffing for clues

epicure 30 May 2014

Laurent Ponsot, owner of Burgundy’s Domaine Ponsot, explains how he became a winemaker-turned-detective as he took on a wine scandal that shook Burgundy.

Most winemakers who adopt organic practices would love to answer a question like “Are you an organic winemaker?” posed by any journalist. But not Laurent Ponsot. For him, the title of ‘organic’ is superfluous, and doesn’t need to be a calling card. “I don’t need a label on my head to describe a work philosophy that has been taking place in Burgundy for thousands of years,” says the 60-year-old, owner of Domaine Ponsot in Burgundy. Ponsot does not use any pesticides or weed killers, but he’d use sulphur-copper sprays on his vines to tackle mildew. He analogises: If you have a serious illness, are you going to avoid seeing the doctor?

Over the past few years, Domaine Ponsot was making headlines not for the top quality of its wines, but for its involvement in a wine fraud that shocked the vino world.

Excerpt from the June 2014 issue of epicure.

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