|Bordeaux's new UGC president urges top chateaux to up their involvement|
|Written by Gemma McKenna|
|Thursday, 20 December 2012 10:40|
Bordeaux’s new Union des Grands Crus president Olivier Bernard, of Domaine de Chevalier, has called for the grands crus estates to work more closely with negociants and commit more fully to trade missions.
Bernard succeeds Sylvie Cazes, co-owner of Chateau Lynch-Bages, who spent four years at the head of the organisation. During her time there Cazes ramped up the number of overseas UGC tastings and introduced new markets including Brazil and India. She also boosted consumer engagement, and the weekend des grands crus now attracts around 1,800 wine enthusiasts from around the world. The number of events organised alongside importers and distributors in other markets has also dramatically increased - now the 134 UGC members can participate in more than 80 international events a year, attended by some 35,000 trade professionals and journalists as well as 11,000 consumers.
The board members unanimously elected Bernard to succeed Cazes. Bernard comes from the Pessac-Léognan appellation, where he manages the family estate, Domaine de Chevalier, and is also the managing director of the family firm Financière Bernard.
He said: “At a time when the success of the Bordeaux great growths calls for a strong involvement from their owners, I am honored and highly motivated to take on this new responsibility and devote a great deal of energy to it. I intend to work closely with the Union’s employees on behalf of all our members. Our grands crus must work more closely with the Bordeaux négociants and envisage a stronger commitment from the region’s top estates during UGC missions.”
The choice of new president illustrates how members are keen to get the balance right between increased media interest in the grands crus, the wine trade, consumers, and respect for the cultural heritage and traditions of Bordeaux’s top wines.