Burgundy producers in break from BIVB [updated 19/03/04]

  • Wednesday 25 February 2004

A handful of small producers have distanced themselves from the Burgundy wine trade body, the BIVB, to promote their wines independently.

The group of 14 small but high-quality producers from southern burgundy have called themselves ‘les Artisans Vignerons de Bourgogne du Sud’ and have only just finished the paperwork for the creation of the group.

The 14 names include Merlin, Domaines Denis Jeandeau, Guillot-Broux and Valette.

‘We have grouped together some of the family domains in the area,’ Emmanuel Guillot of Domaine Guillot-Broux told decanter.com, ‘our first objective is the promotion of our wines. We are also encouraging a certain work ethic. We chose the word “artisan” carefully.’

‘Now, with the standardisation of taste, the worldwide standardisation of Chardonnay, the systematic destruction of the soil in intensive and mindless agricultural practises, we are raising a timid voice to defend our liberty to be different, to offer a real diversity of wines faithful to their terroir…we hope that others will join us in our struggle,’ said a press release.

Expressing a personal opinion, Guillot also said, ‘We are going to do our own promotion, we can longer have confidence in the BIVB for this and we expect to hear the echoes very soon.’

‘We are not being negative, we are just against certain positions the BIVB takes and we are certainly not questioning the workings of the BIVB. When one looks at the losses we are making in the UK for example, you have to say there is a problem,’ he said.

All producers pay a yearly sum to the trade body and many have questioned the return for their investment. Guillot was quick to stress that the group is not in conflict with the BIVB.

This was echoed by the chairman of the group, Olivier Merlin of Merlin wines.

'We are not in any conflict whatsoever with the BIVB. We are perfectly aware that the functioning of the BIVB is not to promote one or more domaines but to promote the region's wines as a whole,' he said.

The BIVB rejects suggestions that it is giving priority to larger producers, cooperatives and increasing the volume of wines produced.

‘Look at our ‘cave de prestige’, you will see that we promote smaller producers and their wines,’ said Nelly Blau-Picard at the Macon office of the BIVB. Despite being uninformed of the new group, her reaction was positive.

‘Well done, I applaud them,’ she said, adding that there was no reason for the BIVB to be against it, ‘I think it’s a very good idea.’

The first event organised by ‘les Artisans Vignerons de Bourgogne du Sud’ is a tasting of their wines on 26 April at the Sofitel in Lyon.

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