Opus One is aiming to strengthen its sales networks around the world by opening a dedicated office in Bordeaux which will deal with all exports.
The renowned Oakville, Napa winery, which is jointly owned by Baron Philippe de Rothschild and Constellation Brands, is the only California wine whose sales outside the US are managed solely through Bordeaux negociants.
It has now appointed Laurent Delassus (pictured) as vice president of international sales and marketing. He will maintain an office in Bordeaux and oversee regional sales managers in Tokyo and in Hong Kong.
Most recently export managing director for the Bordeaux negociant Veyret-Latour, Delassus was previously export director for another negociant, Mahler-Besse.
‘In these roles he was directly involved in developing fine wine markets, notably in Asia, Russia and Australia,’ the winery said in a press release.
Opus One CEO David Pearson said Delassus’ ‘keen managerial skills and expertise in international markets make him an ideal fit for Opus One.
‘Laurent’s exceptional understanding of the negociant network will strengthen Opus One’s trade relationships throughout the world.’
Roger Asleson, vice president of public relations, told Decanter.com the 22 negociants with which they deal were impressed by the move.
Referring to Chateau Latour’s announcement that it will no longer sell through the Bordeaux Place, he said, ‘At a time when Chateau Latour is departing, an American winery in Napa Valley is going exactly the opposite way, re-affirming the place and value of the centuries-old negociant system.’