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Driving Moët Hennessy’s Unwavering Focus on Excellence and Sustainability 

A Conversation with Bérénice Galand about guiding prestigious wine brands across Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.

We sit down with Bérénice Galand, the Business Development and Education Director of Moët Hennessy Wine Estates. With over five years of dedicated service and a passion for sustainability and excellence, she shares her insights on her remarkable journey within the organization, her role in shaping their commercial strategy, her commitment to environmental sustainability, and her unique leadership approach.

Bérénice, tell us how you have grown into your role at Moët Hennessy Wine Estates, from your start 5 years ago to your current role as Business Development & Education Director.

 I joined MH Wine Estates 5 years ago first being given the responsibility of the business development for our wine portfolio in EMEA. Subsequently, given my background in fine wine sales, I was also trusted with the Education and training part, that is ensuring messages come across in a way that is distinctive, memorable, and consistent across all our markets.

Could you elaborate on your responsibilities in leading the commercial strategy for super-premium and prestige still wine brands across Europe, Africa, and the Middle East?

 My role is to connect our maisons (Cloudy Bay, Chateau d’Esclans, Minuty, Terrazas de los Andes, Joseph Phelps, Newton, Château Galoupet, Ao Yun) with our markets (MH subsidiaries/distributor partners). This is to ensure we sell our products in the right channels with the right level of support. I also work on medium and long-term strategies with our maisons to identify growth opportunities and how best to activate them. It is a role that requires a lot of transversal management, interpersonal relationships, good influencing skills, and a lot of passion and energy.

What achievements or milestones are you most proud of during your Business Development and Education Director tenure?

First, our business has grown over the past 5 years in volume and more significantly in value. Second, true to Moet Hennessy’s goal to become the global leader in the Super Premium+ still wine category we had to spark a significant shift in our resources and capabilities. We hired development ambassadors in all our key markets (the UK, Nordics, Germany, HK, Singapore, USA) Their objectives are threefold: education & advocacy, new distribution wins, and networking with key local gatekeepers and KOL. They all contribute to infusing a new wine culture at Moet Hennessy; this cultural transformation is a great source of pride.

Moët Hennessy Wine Estates encompasses a diverse portfolio of iconic wine regions and brands. Can you highlight any recent developments or strategies related to these brands, especially in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East markets?

Sustainability is central to all that we do at MH Wine Estates. From being leaders in sustainable viticulture and wine-making practices to our packaging, and how we distribute our wines across the world. For example, in 2020 we decided to significantly lighten Terrazas de Los Andes bottles exported to European markets. In 2023, we launched our first-ever organic Malbec in Scandinavia and Germany. And in 2024, we’ll accelerate the development of our chardonnay range to answer the current white wines rush. All of this happened in less than 4 years. 

Managing a team of five wine ambassadors and managers, can you tell us about your approach to leadership and team management in such a dynamic industry?

I think giving clear directions is as key as building a team with complementary profiles. I share my objectives with my team and give them shared objectives - this interdependency fosters collective efforts; community thinking and means they can lean on each other and learn from their respective strengths. To me, it was also key to hire people who have a strong passion for wines.  All these combined make up more than the sum of our individual performances and ensure we stick together through thick and thin.

In your role, you have a strong preference for people and coaching. How do you nurture talent within your team and promote professional growth among your wine ambassadors and managers?

I want to make sure people grow in their jobs and excel at skills that are at the heart of their success. I once read a quote from American novelist Joan Didion I found very inspiring “If you look a snake in the eyes, he won’t bite you”. Giving feedback and discussing what doesn’t work is more important than discussing what works. Of course, we know to celebrate our wins.

Moët-Hennessy Wine Estates places a strong emphasis on environmental sustainability. Can you share some of the key initiatives or projects you've been involved in to promote sustainability within the organization?

The best and most recent example is what we did at Château Galoupet: we acquired the Estate in 2019 and turned it upside down into a lighthouse of sustainability. We did this by questioning our environmental impact from grape to glass. Our vineyards are 100% organic (the first within Moët Hennessy), we have a queen bee fertilization center on-site, we completely regenerated our soils to restore biodiversity through cover crops and agroforestry practices, our amber light bottle has one the lowest carbon footprint of the category … this is a non-exhaustive list!

Moët Hennessy Wine Estates is committed to values at work. How does this commitment manifest in your day-to-day work and interactions within the organization?

All our maisons were here well before us and will be here well after us. This forces all of us to be humble. I try to ask myself every day “What can we do for our maisons?”. I truly believe if you take care of the Maisons, the Maisons will take care of you.

I also feel extremely grateful to work within an environment where there are opportunities to learn and have fun every day, at every position and seniority level.

With your background in luxury products and strategic thinking, how do you see the wine industry evolving, particularly in terms of consumer preferences and market trends?

I believe that the “less and better” trend will remain as people become more and more educated, affluent, and healthy,  we say “well-thy”. This means we must continue to premiumize our offer, by innovating, making the quality of our products even more exceptional, and rethinking our route to consumers in building more meaningful connections with them.

Could you provide some insights into your interest in digital transformation and its impact on consumer engagement and commercial excellence within the wine industry?

The most important I see now is blockchain technology, ensuring provenance and traceability. It’s a win / win for the brand owners and clients. Eventually, it will also reduce the physical movements of bottles that jeopardize the wine quality and have a large carbon footprint. 

What are some of the challenges and opportunities you foresee in the wine and spirits industry in the coming years, especially in the regions you oversee?

I think crisis periods and a tougher context, such as the one we are in now, present big opportunities to change, adapt, and improve. I believe climate change is already extremely challenging for many producers, as much as it will open a new realm of possibilities. I believe digital (blockchain, metaverse) will completely disrupt the route to consumers.  I also believe that prestige wines will remain a business where network and knowledge are paramount to success and that clinking glasses will remain our preferred form of social media!


Bérénice Galand's journey from business development to her current role as Business Development and Education Director at Moët Hennessy Wine Estates exemplifies her dedication and commitment to excellence in the wine industry. Her dedication to leading the commercial strategy for premium wine brands, fostering a culture of sustainability, and nurturing a dynamic team sets up a clear path of success for the brands she works with at Moët Hennessy. As the wine industry evolves, Bérénice's emphasis on quality, innovation, and digital transformation highlights her forward-thinking approach. Her vision for the future of the wine and spirits industry resonates with the importance of sustainability and the enduring value of human connections in this ever-changing landscape.

In conversation with Malvika Patel, Editor and VP, Beverage Trade Network

Note: Header and Index Image Source: Bérénice Galand

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