Our Story

Michel Labardin

The story of FRENCH WINES AND CO began in the 1970s, when Michel Labardin entered the world of Bordeaux wine, working with acclaimed wine writer and entrepreneur Alexis Lichine to develop and expand on a new concept: ESTATE BOTTLING.
Michel spent a number of years visiting the main importers in Europe, in Africa, and in South America; then began working with the USA market in the 1980s.

In the meantime, he was studying oenology at the Faculty of Sciences of Bordeaux with the renowned Professor Emile Peynaud.

During his long career, he has traveled to the majority of the world’s vineyards.

Towards the end of his career, he decided to focus more specifically on the vineyards of France. This has led him quite naturally to become the commercial link between the local estate owners and the importers he has gotten to know well throughout his career. Bordeaux may be a little less in the limelight these days, but it is well known for containing all the greatest wealth of the famed French vineyards.

Karin Labardin

Présentation Michel et Karin Labardin

Michel’s daughter Karin Labardin joined him in 2018. As a native of Bordeaux, she of course grew up throughout her childhood and adolescence in the wine world but decided to choose the path of tourism and communication rather than immediately following in her father’s footsteps. It was only in 2012 that, looking to give a new direction to her career, she joined the prestigious Bordeaux Vine and Wine Institute in order to deepen her knowledge of wines and tasting. She succeeded in earning the prized D.U.A.D (University Degree of Aptitude in Tasting) diploma, and then became an independent guide specializing in wine tourism in order to share her passion for Bordeaux wines with wine lovers and connoisseurs from around the world – or simply those who are curious to discover this fascinating realm. In addition, in order to familiarize herself better with the vineyards of the rest of the world, she is currently studying for the WSET3 certification in English.

Today, through their company FRENCH WINES & CO, Karin and Michel Labardin work together to find the ideal importer or distributor for their producers.
They are both wholly attuned to the needs of their clients, and are always closely attentive to their partners, their producers and their importers.
Please note: For your convenience, wines are shipped and invoiced directly by the property.

Our Philosophy

FIND superior wines in both well-known and lesser-known appellations that are focused on respect for the environment and for Nature; primarily family-owned properties with high added value.

BUILD relationships of trust with the owners who have cultivated their vines for several generations and who are constantly improving the quality of their wines.

OFFER these wines to passionate importers wishing to develop a long-term relationship for distribution in their countries.


Our Selection

Carte France Vin

Sancerre is world famous for its very aromatic dry white wines, with citrus and white flower notes combined with characteristic flinty aromas. The Sauvignon Blanc grape variety finds its favorite terroir here, although some reds and rosés are also produced in Sancerre using Pinot Noir.

We are always very careful to select only properties that meet all of our stringent quality requirements, and we have succeeded in establishing both commercial and personal relations with a 4th-generation owner from Bué. We have now been distributing their delightful wines in the USA for 10 years.

This 12-hectare property produces a classic white wine with typical Sauvignon Blanc aromas but also a “Chêne Marchand” cuvée that comes from a specific high-quality plot in the appellation;  it is a more complex wine with greater aging potential.

The property also offers excellent reds and rosés, both made from Pinot Noir.

Muscadet comes from a relatively unknown yet unique grape variety: the Melon de Bourgogne. In years past, the wines from this region were considered "small white wines of no interest” that were only for local consumption - but now, after enormous advances in quality, this appellation is finally being recognized for its true value.

We work with a family-owned property that offers a range of wines from Muscadet to rosés and reds from the Loire, all using sustainable agriculture. We are proud of this collaboration which allows us to offer various types of Muscadet wines, including those aged on lees, as well as delectable red wines, in particular an excellent Gamay.

The Côtes de Gascogne are located in the heart of the vineyards of the Southwest, halfway between the cities of Bordeaux and Toulouse.

Gascony wines continue to produce excellent delicate, fruity whites. The production of red is more limited, but there are some very fine wines in this appellation. Here too, we have more than 10 years of collaboration. We remain closely attentive to these Gascon wines, which are constantly evolving.

We are now working with 2 estates in this part of the French vineyard which includes more than 1,000 producers and where the production of white wines dominates (85%).

Our interest in offering wines from 2 estates?

First of all, the very different style of their production; for example, one offers a 100% Merlot rosé, while the other has found its preferred style with a 100% Syrah. As for their white wines, the expression is both very distinct but also very representative of the dry whites from Gascony, with aromas of citrus and exotic fruits.

This appellation is both little-known and yet also famous for its Château de Cheverny (the former property of Talleyrand). The estates are mostly small, and it was difficult to find one that combines the high quality we demand with logistical efficiency, but we succeeded.

Our producer is located in Fresnes in the heart of the appellation, and is now the 5th generation to produce wines on this estate. He has constantly modernized the cellars and devoted himself completely to the cultivation of the vines. As an example of the latest in modern techniques, we can find anti-frost wind towers on the main plots, to fight effectively against late-season frosts, which can destroy the work of an entire year in a few minutes.

One of his most notable offers is a 50% Chardonnay 50% Sauvignon cuvée from Old Vines, creating a wine with a beautifully harmonious balance of acidity and fruitiness. His rosé has deep color with tart aromas and splendid freshness.

The Malepère vineyard is located south of Carcassonne and is enhanced by 3 influences: the Pyrenees Mountains, the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Its high altitude is an additional asset for the cultivation of the vines.

Malepère, or “Bad Stone” in regional dialect, refers to sandstone, the basis of the soil of this region. This sandstone is too fragile for construction but fantastic for the vine.

We work with a family estate that was created in 1928, which offers wines that are both supple and powerful, in particular a remarkable Pinot Noir and a Chardonnay in IGP Pays d´Oc, as well as the jewel of the property, their Malepère Tradition (Merlot and Cabernet Franc blend).

What a great discovery! We are so pleased with this recent but already very rewarding collaboration.

Our selective philosophy remains the same for Bordeaux wines, where our discerning selection of producers ranges from a harmonious sweet white wine, all the way to a subtly tannic red wine with high aging potential: Bordeaux, Loupiac, Saint Emilion Grand Cru, Graves, Bordeaux Côtes de Cadillac or Haut-Medoc.

Of course we mustn’t forget all the great Classified Growths, which we can of course supply on demand.

We have vast and intimate knowledge of the wines of this fabled region thanks to our professional and personal network.

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