Joseph Henriot dies


News has just reached us that the visionary Joseph Henriot died on Monday at the age of 79. Always dapper and suave, he played a major part in the history of both Champagne and Burgundy but, in his capacity as head of Veuve Clicquot (before concentrating on his own Henriot champagne), he was instrumental in LVMH's acquisition of Cloudy Bay in New Zealand and Cape Mentelle in Western Australia, which arguably changed the shape of the global commercial wine map. As the French commentators Michel Bettane and Thierry Desseauve put it, for example, Cloudy Bay became 'l’une des plus belles success story du groupe'.

He bought the super-grand Beaune négociant Bouchard Père et Fils with its exceptional array of vineyards in 1995 and was generous enough to share the venerable contents of its cellars with all and sundry – including me. See Bouchard Père et Fils open up cellar treasures in London, for example.

He went on to acquire William Fèvre in Chablis, established Villa Ponciago in Beaujolais and also bought the Dijon producer of crème de cassis Lejay Lagoute.

These superior photographic portraits are the work of the talented wine photographer Jon Wyand