The city of Bordeaux should become a cultural centre of wine, Sylvie Cazes, the new president of the UGCB, has said.
Cazes has just become the 7th president – and the first female head – of the Union des Grands Crus Classes de Bordeaux.
She is also president of the board at Chateau Lynch-Bages and the Cazes family wine holdings, and also sits on the Bordeaux City Council.
In a wide-ranging interview in the September issue of Decanter magazine Cazes says she is keen to increase promotional activities by taking wine events direct to the consumer.
To this end she will explore how wine tourism concepts such as the Relais & Châteaux Cordeillan-Bages hotel, the restored village of Bages with its bistro, bakery, wine store and art workshops, tour companies and wine schools can be extended.
On the city council she will be working alongside mayor Alain Juppé to raise the profile of wine, promoting wine wine tourism projects and promoting economic links between wine and the city of Bordeaux.
'It is absolutely essential to take consumers into our world, to show how for us wine is part of a wider lifestyle, and to create loyalty. Our customers need to be confident that they can rely on us.'
But she admits the Bordelais can sometimes be difficult to persuade to take part in promotional activities.
'The producer should get involved… but the difficulty is in finding the time. Many don't want to work weekends. But if you do things with the consumer, you have to do them when the consumer wants.'
Above all, Cazes says she is looking forward with relish to her immersion in the politics of the UGCB.
'My father was mayor of Pauillac for 40 years so it has been part of my background to be surrounded by politics.'