Hailing from a long line of Burgundian winegrowers and brokers going back five generations, Laurent Delaunay received his diploma in oenology from the University of Dijon in Burgundy, where he met his wife Catherine, who is also an oenologist.
After an initial experience in California, they began their careers working for Laurent’s father who ran a wine trading company. After the family business was sold to the Boisset group in 1995, Laurent and Catherine decided to create their own company, Badet Clément & Co, using the name of an old wine house that Laurent’s grandfather had purchased in 1932.
At the time, Burgundy offered few possibilities for development to passionate young oenologists, so Laurent and Catherine turned towards the Languedoc region, which was considered to be the ‘New Frontier’ for many French winemakers and oenologists. They were among the first to be convinced the Languedoc would be the next big viticultural region to emerge and that it was possible to adapt successful ‘New World’ vinification methods and marketing techniques, especially for the production of varietal wines.
Over the course of several years they combed the major and minor country roads of this immense viticultural region in search of top-notch vineyards. Though they had little financial means, they met with the growers who owned those exceptional plots and explained their plan to them, convincing them to sell them a portion of their grapes or to lend them a vat or two to vinify the grapes on site. Thanks to Laurent and Catherine’s strength of conviction, many of them accepted. And so, the Les Jamelles brand came into being.
Twenty years later, Badet Clément & Co. primarily deals with wines from three of France’s major wine producing regions: Languedoc-Roussillon, Burgundy and the Rhone Valley.
The company selects the finest terroirs and supervises the vinification and ageing processes under the watchful eyes of its team of six winemakers. This is made possible by the company’s winery located in southern France’s Minervois region, with a capacity of vinifying 265,000 gallons and storing 800 barrels. Bottling (over 13 million bottles) is taken care of by a partner with ISO 9001 / 2000, IFS, BRC, HACCP, Ecocert & NOP certification.
The company is also in charge of quality control (on-site laboratory), graphic design (on-site studio), marketing and distribution in over 45 countries.