The general director of the wine and Champagne division of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton looks to be the front runner to take charge of the Institut National de l'Origine et de la qualité.

The French Minister of Agriculture Dominique Bussereau has contacted Yves Bénard about the vacant position, previously held by Rene Renou, who passed away last year.
"The Minister of Agriculture has contacted me, and asked, if he proposed my name for chairman of the Comité Vin, whether I would accept it," Bénard told just-drinks at the Wine Evolution trade show today (29 January) in Paris.

"I told him that I would do so. I have been told by people around the Minister that his decision has been taken, but an announcement will not be made until next month."

Asked what his approach in the position would be, Bénard said: "I don't want to give the impression that I have a plan - I don't want the Minister to be harassed!"

Furthermore, Bénard was quick to emphasise that he is not the only contender for the position.

Bénard noted, however, that he is a keen fan of simplification for France's wine industry. "For France, it is very important that our wines are easier to understand for the consumer," he said.

Renou, who died last June, was a keen proponent of reform of France's AOC system, which he viewed as having become confusing for consumers.