New Burgundian chiefs

Claude Chevalier and Louis-Fabrice Latour are the new president and co-president of the Bourgogne Wine Board (BIVB), the generic body representing the Burgundy wine region.

Chevalier is a winemaker in Ladoix-Serrigny (Côte de Beaune) and was president of the Confédération des Appellations et des Vignerons de Bourgogne (CAVB, viticulture) from 2007 to 2012.

Latour is head of Louis Latour (Beaune) and has also been president of the Fédération des Négociants-Eleveurs de Bourgogne since 2003, a post from which he will stand down in the spring.

They take over from Pierre-Henry Gagey and Michel Baldassini, who were in the posts for eight and 10 years respectively, having each served two mandates.

The new presidents have set some objectives: “Our Grand Cru wines are our driving force and have cemented the name of the Bourgogne region. However, they also suggest to consumers that Bourgogne wines are expensive. We must not forget that lesser well-known appellations remain very affordable while still offering excellent quality. We are going to establish a strong strategy to pass on this message,” said Chevalier.

They are also passionate about the Cité des Vins de Bourgogne, a project launched in July 2013 for the construction of a specialist ‘oenotourism center for the region’.

“This project must have an outward-looking perspective and allow the BIVB to open up to the public, as well as to the industry,” Chevalier said.

In technical terms, research into vine diseases and flavescence dorée are a major concern. Latour highlighted the project for closer ties with the Beaujolais region, “which would be a key achievement for our mandate.”

The creation of the Coteaux Bourguignons appellation in 2011 was a first step. “This rapprochement will happen. It could even be considered something of a return to our roots as, until recently, our two winegrowing areas were one.

“We aim to continue the work carried out by Pierre-Henry Gagey and Michel Baldassini and we must be ambitious in finding room for manoeuvre despite the low-volume harvests we have recently seen,” said Latour.