The appointment of Bordeaux mayor Alain Juppe as Foreign Minister has been welcomed by the Bordeaux wine establishment.
To have a key figure in Bordeaux at the centre of French government will be vital for the interests of the region and for French wine as a whole, Sylvie Cazes, president of the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux told Decanter.com.
Juppé (pictured), the former Defence Minister, replaces Michèle Alliot-Marie as Foreign Minister. She has resigned over her ties to the ousted Tunisian regime.
Juppé is a conservative who served as Prime Minister and Foreign Minister under Jacques Chirac in the 1990s. He will remain Bordeaux mayor but he has said he will be able to spend less time in the city.
This will not be a problem, Cazes said. ‘I’m not at all worried. In the last three years he has been instrumental in every major project in Bordeaux, and he has a very competent team.
‘To have a champion for Bordeaux at the very centre of government is very important – he is a major ambassador for French business.’
Cazes said Juppé was considered – ‘by both sides of the political spectrum’ – as a very successful Bordeaux mayor.
In particular, she said, he had indefatigably promoted the new Bordeaux wine centre, which opens in 2014.
Juppé also stood shoulder to shoulder with Cazes and other Bordeaux figures in protests against legislative threats to the wine industry such as censorship of wine in the press, proposed tax rises, the ban on wine advertising, and restrictions on tastings.
Attending a demonstration in 2008 he declared his solidarity, saying ‘prohibition doesn’t work’.
Martin Krajewski, owner of Chateau de Sours in Entre-deux-Mers, said Juppé had been ‘a really inspirational mayor. He has transformed the city back to its true greatness with vision and style, and has done much to re-create the interest in Bordeaux as a wine, gastronomic and arts centre as well as a visitor destination.’
Written by Adam Lechmere