During its AGM on 17 December, the Bourgogne Wine Board (BIVB) elected two Presidents to lead the trade body for the next four years. François Labet continues in his role representing the winegrowing side of the business, while a new representative was proposed by the négoce trade in the shape of Laurent Delaunay from the Maison Edouard Delaunay. He will take over from Louis-Fabrice Latour and Frédéric Drouhin.
“This election comes at a time when the industry and the region are entering an intense and challenging period. Firstly, I should like to praise the work of my predecessors, Louis-Fabrice Latour and Frédéric Drouhin, who, along with François Labet, led the BIVB during a complex mandate that involved overseeing the project for the Cité des Climats et Vins de Bourgogne while facing the COVID crisis,” said Laurent Delaunay after the vote, summarizing the general consensus.
- The paradox of Bourgogne wines
While the 2021 harvest was historically low, estimated at between 900-950,000 hectoliters, exports of Bourgogne wines are breaking new records: Up 20% by volume and up 24.5% in terms of revenue to more than a billion euros over the first 10 months of 2021 compared to the same period in 2019. Sales in France are also doing very well, but the next 18 months will be tricky. Bourgogne winegrowers seeking to satisfy all their customers will have to manage their stocks very carefully and hope for a good harvest in 2022.
François Labet underscored the paradox of this situation in his report: “You will notice that we haven’t talked much about the economy and today’s markets. The reason is simple: Our future depends on returning to previous production levels and keeping a foothold in our markets. Our decision to bolster action taken by the Technical and Quality Department will continue in our next budget, which will be voted on in July. As Frédéric Drouhin said, the BIVB is the place where this long-term work can be most easily driven as the whole sector is involved, and everyone is working together for the greater good,” he said.
- The BIVB is committed to satisfying markets
“We have become investors,” François Labet continued. “By that I mean that we are no longer satisfied with financing interesting research operations; we want to actively participate in their design and development. This does not mean that the BIVB wants to be project manage all these actions – that is not our purpose. Rather, the BIVB wants to promote the work that is being done, and the recent recruitment of two people by the Technical and Quality Department should help accelerate this.”
He reminded the audience that the BIVB has a strong focus on communication as an essential connection to markets, insisting that: “For the time being, we must also keep in touch with our customers. […] This is why we are counting on some large-scale gatherings in 2022 where we can interact face-to-face with all those who can join us in France or abroad.”
He referred to events organized in France, such as Wine Paris-Vinexpo which will take place from 14-16 February, the Grands Jours du Bourgogne which will run from 21-25 March, and the Grand Bourgogne Hotel in Paris slated for Q2 (late June-early July). There will also be a series of new tastings abroad, to bring together producers, traders, and importers. These will be called “Les Grandes Retrouvailles”, and will run in London on 7 March, Montreal on 16 May, New York on 17 May, Los Angeles on 19 May, and Tokyo on 11 July.
The sector also remains very attentive to social responsibility, as Laurent Delaunay noted in his conclusion: “We must face up to the great expectations society has for us industry professionals in terms of the environment, climate change, transparency, responsibility, product quality, and quality of life. These are what customers and consumers around the world want. […] The region and the industry have already launched several exemplary initiatives around these issues. In terms of the environment, these include the “Engageons nos terroirs dans nos Territoires” action plan governing the use of phytosanitary products, an ongoing project to become carbon neural, and the continued promotion of the Climats of Bourgogne; a world reference in terms of sustainable viticulture,” he added.
- Two presidents that are passionate about the terroir of the Bourgogne winegrowing region
François Labet is beginning a new two-year mandate as President of the BIVB. Laurent Delaunay joins him as Co-President.
François Labet was born in 1954 into a family that has been making wine since 1492. He is very involved in regional life and his grandfather was mayor of Beaune. He is the head of the family business which includes the Domaine du Château de la Tour at the Clos de Vougeot, and the Domaine Pierre Labet in Beaune. He converted his estate to organic viticulture in 1992 and his son, Edouard, joined the family business a few years ago.
He acts as Foreign Trade Advisor to the French Prime Minister, helping develop exports of French wines around the world. He was made Chevalier du Mérite Agricole in 2006 and Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur in 2018.
He was President of the Marketing and Communication arm of the BIVB from January 2014 to the end of 2017 and became President of the Union des Grands Crus (Côte de Beaune and Côte de Nuits) in 2015. He now begins his second term as head of the BIVB.
Laurent Delaunay was born in 1965 and is represents the fifth generation in a family of producers and wine merchants. He grew up above the vat room and the cellars of his family home, educating his palate at a very young age with his father and grandfather. After completing diplomas in Beaune and Dijon, he spent a year in Napa Valley working as an assistant oenologist. He then obtained a degree in business from ESSEC before joining his father at the head of the Maison Edouard Delaunay, founded in 1893.
In 1995, he and his wife Catherine, also an oenologist, created the Badet-Clément company, which specializes in branded wines, particularly from the Languedoc. In 2003, they began to market wines from independent family estates in Bourgogne, thus forging close ties in their favorite place. In 2017, Laurent and Catherine relaunched the Edouard Delaunay family business, located at l’Étang Vergy on the Hautes Côtes de Nuits.
Laurent Delaunay has been involved in professional bodies for many years, holding local positions such as Vice-President of the FNEB / UMVGB (négociants) and administrator of the BIVB since 2012. On a national level, he was on the Supervisory Board of France AgriMer, UMVIN, and Anivin. He is also President of the History and Archaeology Society of the Vergy region, and a member and patron of the association of the Abbey of Saint-Vivant, the Climats de Bourgogne, and the Music & Wine festival at the Clos Vougeot.
He is a Chevalier du Tastevin. Laurent and Catherine Delaunay’s daughter Jeanne is 23 years old and has just finished studying business and is now doing a diploma in winegrowing and oenology.
THE BIVB’S GENERAL MEETING: A NEW PARTNERSHIP TO FACE FRESH CHALLENGES
The new permanent committee of the BIVB
President: François Labet, Domaine du Château de la Tour in Vougeot (21)
Co-President: Laurent Delaunay, Maison Edouard Delaunay in Nuits-Saint-Georges (21)
Treasurer: Marianne Vilain, Domaine de Chaude Ecuelle in Chemilly-sur-Serein (89)
General Secretary: Jean Soubeyrand, Maison Olivier Leflaive in Puligny-Montrachet (21)
Bruno Verret, Domaine Bruno Verret in Saint-Bris-le-Vineux (89)
Francine Picard, Maison Picard in Chassagne-Montrachet (21)
Jérôme Chevalier, Domaine Jérôme Chevalier in Charnay-les-Mâcon (71)
Louis-Fabrice Latour, Maison Louis Latour in Beaune (21)
Thiébault Huber, Domaine Huber-Verdereau in Meursault (21), President of the Confédération des Appellations et Vignerons de Bourgogne (CAVB), ex-officio member
Albéric Bichot, Maison Albert Bichot in Beaune (21), President of the Fédération des Négociants Eleveurs de Grande Bourgogne (FNEB / UMVGB), ex-officio member