Jean Henri Schÿler, president of Château Kirwan and a key figure in the Bordeaux négociant system during the 20th century, has died aged 85.

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Schÿler was president of the administrative board of Château Kirwan, the 1855 3rd Growth estate owned by his family since 1925, as well as being the seventh generation of his family to head up of one of Bordeaux’s key merchant houses, and consul for Denmark, Sweden and Norway for over 45 years.

The first member of the family, also a Jean Henri Schÿler, arrived from Lübeck to Bordeaux in 1738 with his friend Jacques Schröder and set up a merchant house together one year later.

The resulting Schröder and Schÿler was one of the first foreign merchant companies to set up offices in the city and is one of only two négociants still in the hands of the founding family.

Former president of the Federation of Bordeaux Negociants for 20 years, Schÿler was also president of the Bordeaux Wine Bureau (CIVB).

‘He played an important role while president of the négociant body from 1969 to 1989,’ his son Yann Schyler told decanter.com.

‘It was a very difficult time because there was a run of difficult vintages in the 1970s particularly that put great stresses on the Place de Bordeaux. He played the role of a negotiator between châteaux and merchants to maintain a dialogue at a crucial time.’

Schÿler leaves behind his three children Sophie, Nathalie and Yann. His funeral will be held at 10am at the protestant Temple du Hä in Bordeaux on Thursday November 10th.

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