Anne Moreau

Anne Moreau: Nurturing nature

13 January, 2022

“We are happy with the quality, but frustrated with the quantity. It’s frustrating, because the sales have never been so good for Burgundy wines in England and all over the world. A§er the pandemic and everything we’ve been going through, it’s frustrating, not being able to build on that momentum and serve our customers as much as we would like to.

“We’ve been warning our partners since early May. We had a good idea of what was going to happen, so we said we would do allocations. That’s what we have done. The point is to maintain our relationships with all our partners. 2022 will not be a year to open new markets, but to maintain the existing ones. Our partners are very understanding, which is a relief.”

Moreau was born in Gers, in the southwest of France, and her father introduced her to the wines of Bordeaux at an early age. She met her husband, Louis, at Vinexpo Bordeaux. Moreau studied business in Bordeaux, and then spent time in Napa and Madrid, before nally settling in Chablis and marrying Louis in the mid-1990s. They have two daughters. Along with running the family estate with Louis, she spends her time promoting Burgundy wines.

She has just made a trip to London to meet with key trade partners and strengthen the region’s ties with its largest market. The BIVB will return in March for a tasting and presentation with 35 domains and maisons. The focus will be on the “best-kept secrets” of Burgundy – the regional-plus denominations, which account for 52% of the region’s production. 

“You get all this regional wine that is very good value for money, and it’s something people should be aware of,” she says. “They can buy Burgundy at affordable prices. It’s not only about the iconic names and quite expensive bottles, it’s also something you can afford and share.

“It’s a good opportunity to rediscover and enhance those lesser-known appellations and hidden gems. If they go back to these regional appellations, they will get the elegance and finesse. “I’m not a Pinot Noir producer, so I can be impartial, but the Pinot Noir we produce gets this finesse and elegance and minerality that you will not find anywhere else in the world. The terroir is so important. It’s one of our advantages. We are blessed."

The natural terroir of Burgundy is its greatest strength, but 2021 also showed how cruel Mother Nature can be. Yet Moreau is sanguine. “When we see the beautiful vintages of 2020 and 2018, it would be too easy if we had that every year,” she says. “In 2020, from spring to the end of the harvest, everything was very smooth. It was the first year we ever started harvesting in August. It’s a very balanced vintage, with a lot of fruitiness and ripeness, but a lot of minerality and freshness. That’s what makes Burgundy wines so elegant. 2020 gets this very good balance. It was an ideal vintage.”

There are more challenges on the horizon, such as supply chain issues, Brexit-related disruptions, and of course, inflation. The prices of cartons and boxes are up by 30%, while the pallets used to process the orders have doubled in price. That will push up the price of the wines, making it even more important for Moreau and the BIVB to communicate the quality that the region can yield.

Vignerons must also come up with new vine stocks that could be more resistant to frost and disease. There is never a dull moment as a Burgundy winemaker, but they will certainly be hoping for a gentler ride in 2022.

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