The long-standing president of the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux, Patrick Maroteaux, has announced he will be stepping down from the post in June 2008.

Maroteaux, who owns Chateau Branaire Ducru in St-Julien, took the helm of the UGC in July 2000.

During the years of his presidency, the UGC has doubled its number of international operations. It has also started consumer-focused initiatives such as the Weekend des Grands Amateurs in Bordeaux.

Announcing his decision at the Union’s General Assembly, Maroteaux proposed Sylvie Cazes, the sister of Jean-Michel Cazes at Chateau Lynch Bages, as his replacement. Cazes is currently one of 12 board members in the UGC.

‘I prefer to remain in the background now, as I am sure there will be other candidates,’ Cazes told decanter.com.

To date, Cazes is standing uncontested, although the process is not yet closed. If elected, she would be the first woman to hold the position.

The UGC consists of 132 members (all prestigious chateaux from Saint-Emilion, Pomerol, Médoc, Graves, Sauternes and Barsac), but the president is decided by the 29 members of its administrative council.

Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux