As Louis Henry traveled he acquired a faithful clientele, and in 1859 purchased the respected négociant firm of Lemaire-Fouleux and gave the firm his name. After his death, his son, Louis Baptiste Jadot, enthusiastically carried on the work his father had begun. He expanded his export markets as well as his clientele in France, reinvesting his profits in the acquisition of vineyards in some of the finest and most famous Grands Crus and Premiers Crus of the Côte d’Or.
In 1939, Louis Baptiste Jadot died and left control of the firm to his eldest son, Louis Auguste Jadot, who had assisted in the direction of the business under his father since 1931. He opened and greatly developed the new export market of the United States, as well as those of Great Britain, Holland, South America and New Zealand.
The Arrival of André Gagey
In 1954, André Gagey joined Maison Louis Jadot as assistant to Louis Auguste Jadot. When Louis Auguste Jadot died in 1962, survived only by his wife, André Gagey was appointed managing director of the firm, with full responsibility for its operations, under Mme. Jadot’s ownership and direction. As managing director, Gagey was for nearly three decades responsible for the final decisions over selection and purchase of all grapes and wines bottled under the Jadot label, as well as the care and maintenance of the vineyards within the Jadot estate.
The Current Generation of Leaders
In 1970, aware that Maison Louis Jadot’s future growth lay in its increasing role as owner-producer, Gagey engaged Jacques Lardière, a brilliant young enologist, as his assistant and eventual technical director. Lardière is today acknowledged as one of Burgundy’s, finest winemakers, an artist with the reins of nature in one hand and those of technology in the other. In 1984, André Gagey’s son, Pierre-Henry Gagey, joined the firm with a strong background in business administration and management and an inherited knowledge of wines. In February of 1985, the négociant firm of Maison Louis Jadot was purchased by the owners of Kobrand Corporation, sole United States importer of Jadot Burgundies since 1945. In 1991, Pierre-Henry Gagey assumed the position of president. After working side-by-side with legendary winemaker Jacques Lardière for three years, Frédéric Barnier was named Technical Director in 2013; Jacques will continue as advisor and will work on special projects.
The Jadot Property
Maison Louis Jadot’s headquarters are located in the heart of Beaune. The most beautiful of its three cellars, used for storage of older-vintage wines and for convivial gatherings, is situated in the Couvent des Jacobins, built in 1477 and once a convent of the patron Saint Dominique, founder of the Dominican order.
Ensuring Quality in the Cellar
Maison Louis Jadot’s principles of vinification balance tradition and technology, and focus on the purest expression of each wine’s terroir, taking the lightest possible hand in winemaking and a restrained use of oak maturation. For its village level Côte d’Or wines, Jadot practices a further, though expensive, practice called réplis, in which wines of a higher appellation are incorporated into a wine bearing the appellation below them. Thus, for example, Jadot’s Gevrey-Chambertin will customarily contain a percentage of wines from various Premiers Crus of that village.
Jadot’s cellar practices, including long macerations, the choice of wild yeast when possible for fermentation, fermentation temperature and other winemaking methods are also designed to preserve the character of the fruit in the wines. For both red and white wines, Maison Louis Jadot places great importance on the restrained use of new oak in the aging process. Time in cask and percentage of new oak is dictated differently by each vintage. In keeping with its non-interventionist philosophy, Jadot considers that very great vintages, complete and harmonious by themselves, require minimum contact with new oak.