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Bourgogne wines ‘need understanding’ by the trade

The BIVB is almost halfway through running its series of seminars aimed at the Hong Kong wine trade, in a bid to reach its consumers across Asia.

25 of Hong Kong’s young sommelier talent gathered to learn about the appellation village of Mercurey

At the fourth instalment of the “Wines Club Sommelier” event run by the BIVB, Yang Lu who led the seminar explained that Burgundy as a whole “targets its consumers through communicating with the wine trade.”

“It is extremely focused on training the trade through masterclasses, seminars, tastings and it’s definitely an appellation that needs understanding,” he said. “With all the different appellations, soils, climats, it’s not that accessible for people who have never been there for example but who want to learn more.”

As part of its drive to promote the region and its wines across Hong Kong and China, the BIVB has established a series of seminars aimed solely at Hong Kong’s sommeliers in a bid for them to become Bourgogne wine ‘experts’.

It has been running since the beginning of this year and is set to continue until the end of 2017 for 10 sessions with each focusing on a different appellation.  The fourth session covered Mercurey, in the heart of the Cote Chalonnaise; an appellation that includes 32 premier cru climats and encompasses the two communes of Mercurey and Saint-Martin-sous-Montaigu with 80% red wine production. The next event in January will focus on Pouilly-Fuissé.

The attendance as the beginning of the series, said Lu was hovering around 10 but has now grown to 25 with the enticement of a week’s trip to Burgundy for the sommelier who attends the most.

“If the public are to understand Burgundy,” he said firmly, “then it’s the job of the sommeliers to engage with them. They are at the front line serving the wines and it’s up to them to educate, but then they have to be educated themselves first.”

Through Lu’s guided tasting, the sommeliers sampled four of Mercurey’s premier cru climats over six wines.

Representing Mercurey’s “different expressions” the tasting included:

Mercurey 2013 Les Rochelles Maison Louis Max

Mercurey 2014 Les Closeaux Domaine de l’Europe

Mercurey 2013 1er cru, Champs Martins Domaine Theulot-Juillot

Mercurey 2013 1er cru, Les Vellees Domaine Tupinier-Bautista

Mercurey 2012 1er cru Clos du Roi, Chateau de Chamirey

Mercurey 2012 1er cru, En Sazenay, Domaine de Suremain

When asked about the trade’s knowledge, Lu said that it was at varying levels throughout Hong Kong but it was increasing each time they held the Wines Club Sommelier event.

“It’ a great challenge to deliver this programme, Burgundy is ambitious and wants to see 70 top Hong Kong sommelier representatives. I think we still have a way to go but it’s hosting events like this that we can see a huge improvement on the trade’s understanding.”

Sommeliers who want to attend the next event in January, should get in touch with the BIVB.

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