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Bollinger names new chef de cave

Champagne Bollinger has confirmed the appointment of Gilles Descôtes as its new chef de cave following the departure of Mathieu Kauffmann.

Gilles Descôtes, Bollinger’s new chef de cave

With degrees in both agronomy and oenology, 47-year-old Descôtes has already spent the last 10 years at the Champagne house, first as assistant production director, then director of vineyards and supply, before his promotion to technical director last year.

Descôtes new role will see him take responsibility for the production of all Bollinger’s cuvees, grape supply and management of the house’s own vineyards.

Jérôme Philipon, president of Champagne Bollinger, highlighted Descôtes’ experience, saying: “His great expertise, in both winemaking and the viticulture of Champagne, makes Gilles Descôtes the natural candidate to assume the full role of chef de cave of Champagne Bollinger.

“He has shown, over the course of the last 10 years, the great leadership qualities required to assist Champagne Bollinger in its controlled growth.”

In response, Descôtes remarked: “It is with the greatest respect for the ‘savoir-faire’ of Champagne Bollinger that I accept this post. My experience at the heart of this house will help me continue its development through maintaining the style and excellence of its cuvées.”

As reported by the drinks business earlier this month, Descôtes’ predecessor Kauffmann has left Bollinger after 12 years to join German producer Reichsrat von Buhl.

Descôtes will be supported in his latest role by Denis Bunner, who takes on the newly created post of deputy chef de cave.

Alsace-born Bunner is currently head of oenology for the Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne, which among other responsibilities has seen him participate in the implementation of the region’s guide to sustainable viticulture.

Due to join the team on 2 September, Bunner said: “I am excited to join the team of Champagne Bollinger. My goal is to use my experience in viticulture and vinification to serve the ambitions of Champagne Bollinger, in accordance with the quality requirements of the House.”

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