ProWein 2017 is shaping up to be the best wine fair ever – and for the most part, everyone who is anyone in the wine business is planning to be there. It’s at this fair that deals are done and relationships are formed. Restaurants are packed weeks in advance as the trade solidifies contracts for the year ahead.
In the midst of all the companies, large and small, who have set up booths is importer Jeanne-Marie De Champs of Domaines
et Saveurs Collection who represents some of the premiere estates in Burgundy.
I first met Jeanne-Marie De Champs in 2009, as I had been invited to the Hospices de Beaune wine auction in Burgundy. It was a wonderful introduction to this famous annual charity event, as well as the wines of Burgundy. People who know Jeanne-Marie, might call her the “Queen of Burgundy,” as there is something very majestic and queen-like about her. In many ways, she seems to represent Burgundy as a Queen represents their territory.
Jeanne-Marie still lives in the same apartment on a very quaint corner in the city of Beaune where I first met her in 2009. The apartment is filled with pictures of friends and family, and of course great bottles of classic Burgundy wine. Since that time, however, the apartment is filled with tiny chairs and toys as Jeanne-Marie has five grandchildren (Aubin, Maxence, Mayeul, Clotilde, and Josephine) whom I am sure hopes will take over the family business.
Jeanne-Marie’s objective at #ProWein is to find new growers and sell and promote them. Of course, every grower needs promotion – but the wines really do speak for themselves. And after years of tasting through the wines of the producers with Jeanne-Marie in Burgundy, having the wine “speak” is actually very important since some of the most famous producers in her portfolio do not speak a word of English. Of course, Jeanne-Marie could always translate, but tasting the wine in the glass says it all.
And of course, Jeanne-Marie is very busy because Burgundy is in fashion at the moment – especially in the USA. Just this past week, many Burgundian producers came to New York for the week long La Paulee Burgundian wine event, which alternates between Manhattan and San Francisco. The prices of the bottles rise as the allocation becomes tighter and weather conditions like hail take its toll on the harvest. In Burgundy, she looks for growers who are sustainable, organic, or biodynamic. She does not offer advice on their winemaking but is keen on scouting out growers with the best terroir.
Though top Burgundy is always in demand, this year at ProWein, Jeanne-Marie is also focusing on Cru Beaujolais, which offers both an excellent quality and price point as well as wines from the Loire, her place of birth.
Domaines et Saveurs sells to importers, retailers, and restaurants – Jeanne-Marie works with importers and distributors in the USA on a state by state basis, and also sells wine to the Nordic countries, Brazil, England, Sweden, Finland, the Ukraine, and Korea.
I’m looking forward to catching up with Jeanne-Marie at ProWein, and had the chance to catch up with her before the show at her booth 11 F 87.
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