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New President of the Union des Grands Crus Classes de Bordeaux.

New UGCB president Olivier Bernard calls for closer cooperation between chateaux and negociants.

Olivier Bernard, owner of the renowned Graves property Domaine de Chevalier, was unanimously voted today as president of high-end Bordeaux’s top marketing arm, the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux (UGC).

New President of the Union des Grands Crus Classes de Bordeaux.
"Mr. President. Olivier Bernard." (Picture by YouWine.Mr. President. Olivier Bernard." (Picture by YouWine.Tv)

Dec. 19th, 2012 Some weeks ago we at Wine-Times postet, that there will be a change at the position as a president of the most important consotium in Bordeaux, the "Union des Grands Crus Classes de Bordeaux". And, that it could bei the election for Olivier Bernard, as a man of integration.

Today Lucas Przybyla announced in the Millésima News section of the Millésima Blog as well as by Panos Kakaviatos of that Olivier Bernard, owner of the renowned Pessac-Léognan property, Domaine de Chevalier, was has been elected unanimously as President of high-end Bordeaux’s top marketing arm, the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux (UGCB).

“We have common goals” Olivier Bernard says.

Bernard was the only candidate, and he replaces Sylvie Cazes, who resided last month, at the head of the UGCB’s 134 members, mostly classified growths.

Best known by wine consumers for its world tasting tours, the UGCB invests some €4m annually in communication, financed entirely by its members, and organises an average of 60 tasting events per year, including twenty major tasting tours in major cities in Europe, the United States, Asia, and Russia.

“I am looking forward to this great responsibility,” Bernard told in an interview just before the official announcement.
A priority for his three-year tenure will be to work more closely – and “with greater transparency”, he stressed – with negociants. He plans to set up an eight-person ‘commission’ made up of four members of the UGCB and four members of the Union des Maisons de Bordeaux, which represents major negociant companies.

“The commission will assess trips and voyages, to see how they could be more effective,” he said. In the past, chateaux and negociants did not always coordinate activities because there had been “mistrust”, for example, client contacts were not shared.

“But it makes a lot of sense that we work together to promote our wines, as we have common goals, to increase client interest,” Bernard said. He also highlighted the fact that his cousin Patrick Bernard has been directing the negociant company Millésima for as long as he has been running Domaine de Chevalier. “This has helped us both to better appreciate our work,” he said.

Bernard is likely to be active in the UGCB commission, which will meet three or four times per year. One probable change, he said, would be a new educational programme particularly for the Chinese market. “There is a large demand in China to learn about wine and not just taste the latest vintage,” he explained.

Bernard, 52, will be assisted by three vice presidents: Patrick Maroteaux (former UGCB President and owner of Chateau Branaire Ducru), Stephan Von Neipperg (Chateau Canon La Gaffellière, among others) and Tristan Kressmann (Chateau Latour Martillac).

No new UGCB members are expected now, Bernard said. “We are quite numerous already and conditions to join are strict.” But when asked about more modest existing members, such as the non-cru classé Chateau Greysac, Bernard replied that the UGCB is not meant to include only members with specific price categories, but rather requires “a steady commitment to excellence” from its members.

The Wine-Times thanks www.YouWine.TV for sending us this article.
© by Helmut Knall
last modified: 2012-12-20 10:04:14

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