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De Bouard to head INAO in Bordeaux

Chateau Angelus owner Hubert de Bouard has been named regional president of France’s wine regulatory body, the INAO.

De Boüard is current president of the Syndicat de Saint Emilion. His responsibilities at the INAO (Institut National des Appellations d’Origine) will cover Bordeaux, Bergerac and Lot et Garonne.

He will also sit on the National Committee, along with the six other regional presidents of INAO, under the newly-appointed national president, Yves Benard.

He told decanter.com he does not necessarily agree with all the reforms and changes to the system championed by the former president, René Renou, who died suddenly in June 2006.

On the idea of splitting the AOC into two quality categories, one of the most pressing issues currently facing INAO, for example, he said, ‘We need to simplify appellations, not add another layer of confusion.

‘Distinctions are already made within the current system. AOC Bordeaux and AOC Pauillac aleady have different rules and images. I’m not sure there’s a need to further codify this by adding in a separate level such as AOC Excellence – the consumer already makes a distinction by the price they are willing to pay.’

But he will throw his weight behind the idea of allowing new techniques at certain levels, such as reverse osmosis, wood chips, or taking out sugar to keep alcohol levels down.

‘There must always be appellations that are stricter that others – the guardians of the temple, such as Saint Emilion Grand Cru, or Sauternes – and others that need to be more modern and can use technology and [new techniques].’

And he said the INAO should be ready to adapt to cope with global issues such as climate change.

‘We made many appellation rules years ago, well before climate change and global warming. We need to be able to respond to these changes.’

De Boüard plans to step down as president of the Saint Emilion Wine Council within the next few months.

Written by Jane Anson

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