We are very sorry to report the demise on Sunday of Patrick Maroteaux, 67, of Ch Branaire Ducru, who had been ravaged by cancer for some years.
He was a particularly affable and tireless president of the Union des Grands Crus between 2000 and 2008 and continued an energetic travel programme promoting the fine wines of Bordeaux.
I have fond memories of how kind he was to me when I was scheduled to conduct a fairly punishing tasting of many a St-Julien at Branaire Ducru some years ago but was suffering one of the worst cases of food poisoning I can remember. Instead of insisting I kept to the timetable and spent lunchtime in his dining room, he was very sympathetic and ushered me into one of the guest rooms created in the grounds of the château, leaving me to benefit from an hour's sleep.
Reporting the sad news, current president of the UGC Olivier Bernard of Domaine de Chevalier said that he and his colleagues, currently touring Asia, would 'share a moment of silence on the day of his funeral.
'To his lovely wife, Evelyne, his children Sophie, Anne-Laure, Pierre-Henry et François-Xavier, grandchildren, and all the staff of Ch Branaire Ducru, we send our most sincere condolences and assure them of our support at this sad time.'
The portrait, taken in healthier times, is by Jon Wyand. My apologies for a relatively late report of this regrettable news; I was in a plane flying back from Australia to London all day yesterday.