A group of alternative and innovative winemakers has founded the Union des Vignerons Bordeaux Pirate association. What started as an open Facebook group in 2019 has thus gained official status. The initiator is Jean-Baptiste Duquesne from Château Cazebonne. He explains the goal of the association: "Things are no longer moving in Bordeaux, we have standardised and stereotypical wines. For us, on the other hand, everything new is interesting. It can be the packaging, the style of the wine, the way you work in the winery or communicate with the public." Duquesne itself makes a cuvée of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc and works with old, almost forgotten grape varieties.
According to the group, unconventional producers have little chance of being noticed, approached and traded, as associations such as the Bordeaux Syndicate and the region's various classification systems are only open to those who meet the criteria of the Bordeaux appellation structure. Thus, the only way to have wines tasted by journalists would be to send them to the syndicate. But this would only be possible if they carried an appellation designation. "In Bordeaux you have to conform, you have no choice," Duquesne says. He emphasises that, unlike other organisations, the Pirate Union is not concerned with particular production methods or philosophies, but focuses on personal identity and innovation and challenges the status quo. To do this, it keeps its membership as open as possible: "That's the only way we'll see more innovation in the region."
(al / Source: decanter.com; Photo: Facebook/Bordeaux Pirate)