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Champagne veteran to head OIV

Champagne veteran Yves Bénard has been elected head of the OIV.

Bénard is a former chairman of Moët & Chandon, and was head of national French wine appellation institute the INAO.

He has just been confirmed president of the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV), the intergovernmental advisory body that sets technical and scientific standards for the international wine industry.

A qualified oenologist and agricultural engineer, the 65-year-old is the first Frenchman to occupy the post since 1962, succeeding Australian viticulturalist Peter Hayes, who becomes OIV vice-president.

Bénard said he wanted to increase the Paris-based organisation’s 44-member states and develop ‘a multi-disciplinary approach to scientific and regulatory debates particularly concerning events such as climate change, sustainable development and biotechnologies.’

Bénard’s family were Champagne producers, and he has been a longstanding co-president of Champagne trade body the CIVC.

From 1994 until his appointment to the INAO board in 2007, he headed the wine and Champagne division of French luxury goods company LVMH.

Written by Graham Tearse in Paris

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