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Laurent Delaunay revives his family’s Burgundy roots

Laurent Delaunay, President of Badet Clément, arrives at Vinexpo Bordeaux having bought back the House of Edouard Delaunay. We asked him to tell us his story…

When I joined my father in the late 80’s, it was with the goal of continuing the family history and managing and increasing the quality of this Burgundy house. It was the sale of our family house, following my father’s illness in 1995 that resulted in my wife Catherine and myself leaving Burgundy to create Badet Clement, a company devoted to South of France branded wines.

In 2003, we had the opportunity to take over DVP Domaines & Vins de Propriété, a company marketing Burgundy wines from independent producers. This is what brought us back to Burgundy. There were two main reasons for deciding to buy back the family house. One was emotional and the wish to make our own wines in Burgundy and to show our know-how in such a precise and challenging region. The second one was more strategic. As specialists of both branded and estate wines from Southern France, we were missing a strong brand in Burgundy.

WE HAVE A GREAT WINERY AT CHATEAU DE CHARMONT AND THE RIGHT TEAM TO ACHIEVE OUR GOALS

We had three solutions:

  • create a new winery and brand from scratch which is very dif cult in such a traditional region.
  • acquire an existing house.
  • or buy back our family house, Edouard Delaunay, from Boisset, the company my father sold it to in 1993. I have always kept good a relationship with Jean-Claude Boisset, who I highly admire and respect. So it was actually a pretty easy approach for us to make. When we met he said he thought the brand should come back to me eventually. So the most dif cult task was done.

What are your short and long-term ambitions for the new Edouard Delaunay wines?

Our ambition for the new Edouard Delaunay is based on quality. Our goal is to re-establish Delaunay as one of the nest producers of Burgundy. This can only be achieved by focusing on excellence and by working with very limited quantities of wine of exceptional quality. Our winery can work with just one barrel by appellation.

How will you do that?

We are able to benefit from our reputation and ve generation history, which gives us a true legitimacy in Burgundy. We are also totally re- launching Edouard Delaunay as a new concern at the excellence level we want, supported by our group’s resources, winemaking and marketing abilities. We know Burgundy very well and have the relationships and network we need. We have a great winery at Chateau de Charmont and the right team to achieve our goals. With DVP we have a unique network of about 140 growers who are able to supply small quantities of the best fruit which is going to be a great help.

How does it feel to have the House of Edouard Delaunay back in the family?

We have reuni ed what used to be the house of Edouard Delaunay before it was sold in the 90’s with our family building, the Château de Charmont, where my grandparents used to live and where I have lived with my wife for 10 years, and its beautiful old traditional vaulted cellars, and next- door winery. It was very emotional for me when I was able to open the door which connects the two parts of the now re-unified property.

How many wines are in the Edouard Delaunay range?

We have about 25 wines starting with “Septembre”, our tribute to the most important month in Burgundy, Bourgogne Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and a selection of village wines, a few Premiers Crus, with a focus on Nuits-St-Georges, and five Grand Crus including some absolute rarities such as Griotte-Chambertin and Le Montrachet. We focus only on Côtes de Nuits and de Beaune.

Hall 1 / Stand B245


Photo: Laurent Delaunay President of Badet Clément