Christian Delpeuch, president of the Bordeaux wine trade body, dramatically resigned today in protest at the lack of progress on the reforms needed in the region.
Delpeuch announced that he would be leaving what is one of the region’s flagship roles. This is, he said, mostly due to the French government’s failure to underwrite a €60m loan for grubbing up vines. This is aimed at reducing overproduction in Bordeaux.
‘People talk and talk, but no real progress has been made,’ Delpeuch told decanter.com. ‘I have no confidence left in the entire process. I refuse to countenance this continual putting-off of decisions, which can only end in failure.’
Grubbing up is due to start in two weeks’ time, but Delpeuch has not heard from the government. Other areas of contention stem from a fundamental lack of cooperation from the winemakers themselves.
The Plan Bordeaux that Delpeuch put forward on his election as head of the wine trade body (CIVB) in 2004 has hardly progressed, with little movement on the changes to the process of quality control, the granting of AOC certificates, the distillation of excess wine and the creation of a Vin de Pays.
‘Unless the fundamentals change, the crisis in Bordeaux is not going to improve. We are wasting the opportunity that a great vintage like the 2005 has given us,’ Delpeuch said.
Delpeuch will be leaving on 10 July to return to his full time position as managing director of Ginestet, one of Bordeaux’s biggest negociants.
‘Of my two years as president, I feel the greatest success has been in promoting the region. We have an excellent team at the CIVB who work incredibly hard, but they need to have support from the other winemaking bodies, and they just don’t receive it,’ he said.
The CIVB will elect a new president shortly.
Written by Jane Anson