Ronan Laborde of Chateau Clinet has been elected as new President of UGC Bordeaux. The election was held Wednesday this week (13th February) among the Board of Director of this influential collective body of 133 top Bordeaux chateaux. 39-year-old Laborde has been managing Chateau Clinet since 2003. Same year he began to join UGC Bordeaux at the Board level initially as a non-voting participant; and eventually becoming a Director. Great expectations are on Laborde, as he shared with French magazine Terre des Vins his clear understanding that “enthusiasm and humility” will be of paramount importance for him to succeed as a “choice of young leadership”.

Youth aside, Laborde also broke an almost 20-year streak of Left Bank-led presidencies in UGC Bordeaux. Since year 2000, UGC Bordeaux presidency has consistently been held by Left Bank chateaux owners. The late Patrick Maroteaux of Branaire Ducru run an exceptional 8-year term from 2000 to 2008. He was succeeded by Sylvie Cazes of Lynch Bages, whom led UGC Bordeaux from mid 2008 to end of 2012, when she resigned from the role. Olivier Bernard of Domaine de Chevalier was unanimously voted to be President as a replacement of Cazes; and continued to run this formidable marketing body from 2013 till now.

Laborde highlighted that “quality” and “improvement” will be the “keywords” of UGC Bordeaux actions under his realm. Laborde spoke about continuing UGC Bordeaux’s active global market engagement through their global grand tastings and maintaining insightful dialogues between producers and key players in different markets. Journalists are expected to see a heightened level of personalization during upcoming en primeur week, when they will be allowed to taste wines more at their own pace.

UGC Bordeaux was conceptualised in 1970s by a group of Bordeaux producers then travelling in Japan promoting their wines.  The Union annually organises en primeur tastings for international trade (2018 en primeur will be held from 1st to 4th April) and global tasting tours where wine consumers are invited to join and taste wines from over 100 participating member chateaux. UGC Bordeaux spends an average of €4 million on marketing every year.

Read more about the appointment from the report on Terre de Vins (in French).

Learn more about UGC Bordeaux from their official website.

Photo Credit: Chateau Clinet / Ronan by Clinet