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En Primeur presentations could be held in modified format this summer

Published:  22 April, 2020

The Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux (UGCB) and Bordeaux Négoce (Association of Bordeaux Wine Merchants) are considering the possibility of proposing the 2019 En Primeurs to be held in a modified format by the end of the summer.

The bodies said that while fighting Covid-19 “has been and remains the priority”, a newly adapted and practical one-off programme may be offered to taste the 2019 vintage.

The proposal, of which details could be confirmed around 11 May, followed a “gradual return to activities appearing to be emerging in France and in other countries, supported by a phased deconfinement”. 

This one-off programme could consist in organising adapted tasting sessions in Bordeaux and other cities around the world, in order to guarantee “the best possible hygiene conditions while maintaining the same level of professionalism”. 

Small groups of retail professionals, wine critics and journalists may be welcomed in several successive private sessions while respecting barrier gestures and health protection regulations. 

Emphasising that the UGCB and its members “remain cautious”, it was nevertheless “hard not to look ahead to the aftermath, which seems to be gradually taking shape”, said UGCB president Ronan Laborde.  

“The programme that we envision for the 2019 En Primeurs presentations will be professional and intimate, rather than a cause for celebration. 

“After this difficult time, we hope we will be able to invite our friends and partners, in the coming weeks, in somewhat unusual circumstances, to taste the 2019 vintage, which inspires a great deal of curiosity and discussion,” he said.

This new organisation, the details of which should be established in “several days' time", would “fully take into consideration the progressive and coercive nature of the deconfinement”, added Laborde.  

If the authorities are able to validate the implementation of a gradual deconfinement in mid-May, the dates and locations of the sessions will be established and communicated.