Maison Tardieu-Laurent is not a vineyard, but rather a negociant, or merchant in English. A negociant, instead of growing the grapes themselves, will buy grapes, juice or finished wines from growers, then bottle and sell the wines wholesale under their name.
Formerly, negociants had a poor reputation in France. People saw them as taking credit for other people’s work. However, what they’re actually doing is making an investment in the grower, taking on the expenses of bottling and selling.
Quite often, due to rules in the appellation guidelines, vineyards are only allowed to produce a certain amount of wine on their own in a year, this is also where a negociant will step in. A negociant, such as Maison Tardieu-Laurent, will buy up excess grapes from growers and produce wines with the excess that would have otherwise gone to waste.
Maison Tardieu-Laurent essentially matures and blends the wines in their cellars. All are aged in 100% new oak barrels for around 18 to 24 months. They are not fined or filtered and, after aging, are bottled to be sold.
Michel makes sure to have a hand in the whole production process, from start to finish. He makes sure to only pick the best grapes for his wines and oversees every aspect so that they meet his exacting standards.