René Renou, president of French wine body l'Institut National des Appellations d'Origine, has died aged 54.

Renou died on Sunday (18 June) in Seoul where he was attending a conference on the future of French wine in South Korea.

He became president of the INAO in 2000 and will be remembered as someone who was set on reforming the French wine industry reeling from a lack of consumer confidence.

Renou had recognised that France's AOC system had become difficult for consumers to understand and had been vocal in the need for change. He wanted to divide France's offer in two - keeping AOC for top wines made under strict conditions, above a second category, Appellation Controllée, with wines made under more relaxed regulations.

"Our first thoughts go to his family and to his relatives," said the INAO in a statement. "The staff of the INAO have been deeply saddened at the news of his death."

Renou had been ill over the past year but the cause of death is as yet unknown.