CellarBlog favorite, and owner of Domaine de Chevalier, Olivier Bernard has been tapped to replace Sylvia Cazes as President of the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux (UGCB).
Olivier is a great choice. Not only will he continue the work that Sylvie Cazes started, but I think he will also increase the social media presence of the UGCB - an area where they have been lacking. Domaine de Chevalier is very active on Twitter and does a good job of interacting with their fans.
The press release sent out by the UGCB:
Bordeaux, December 18, 2012 – The board of the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux met on the 18th of December and thanked Sylvie Cazes warmly for her accomplishments during her four years as President of the organization.
Sylvie Cazes increased the number of tastings abroad with members of the UGCB and innovated by introducing such new markets as Brazil and India. She also focused her attention directly on consumers. Thanks to her impetus, the Week-end des Grands Crus now attracts some 1,800 wine enthusiasts from around the world to Bordeaux, and the number of events organized abroad in conjunction with wine importers and distributors has increased significantly. Today the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux offers their 134 members the opportunity to take part in more than 80 international events a year, attended by some 35,000 trade professionals and journalists as well as 11,000 consumers.
The members of the board unanimously elected Olivier Bernard to succeed Sylvie Cazes as president. This well-known figure from the Pessac-Léognan appellation, where he manages the family estate, Domaine de Chevalier, is also the Managing Director of the family firm Financière Bernard (Lucien Bernard, Millesima, Sobovi, Wine&Co, etc.). Said M. Bernard, "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 UGCB missions."
The election of the UGC's new president illustrates the priority of member winegrowers to find the right balance between new constraints brought about by increased media interest in the grands crus, the wine trade, consumers, and respect for the cultural heritage and traditions of the great wines of Bordeaux.