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INAO president Renou dies

Published:  23 July, 2008

Ren Renou, president of the Institut National des Appellations d'Origine (INAO), died on Sunday 18 June.

Renou, 54, was in Seoul, South Korea, at a conference on the future for French wine in the Asian country. The cause of death is unknown, although it is believed he had been suffering from cancer for some time.

He became INAO president in 2000, and was re-elected in March this year. Two years ago, he came up with a plan to divide the current AOC system in two, with the creation of Super AOCs'. The plan would see the top band of wines keeping their AOC status provided they met strict criteria, and a second tier, Appellation Controlle (AC), with more relaxed regulations.

Renou was originally a winemaker in AOC Bonnezeaux, in Anjou in the Loire Valley, before becoming president of the Syndicat (union) de Bonnezeaux, and later the generic body for Anjou wines.

The INAO said in a statement: Our first thoughts go out to his family and to his relatives. The staff of the INAO have been deeply saddened by the news of his death.'

Jancis Robinson MW described Renou on her website (, as not one to flinch from controversy', adding: He thought the unthinkable and said the unspoken during his tenure as president. It is to be hoped that he will be succeeded by someone equally brave and tenacious.'