Awards and citations:


1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for investdrinks.org

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award




Thursday, 26 January 2012

Angry and frustrated François Chidaine resigns from InterLoire's executive committee

François Chidaine  

François Chidaine, a leading figure in Loire viticulture with vineyards in Montlouis, Touraine and Vouvray, has resigned from InterLoire’s executive citing fundamental disagreements. Interloire promote the wines of the Pays Nantais, Anjou-Saumur and Touraine.

“Interloire’s budget is 8.5 million euros and the return is not very good – the money is misused,” said Chidaine.  ‘Take the 900,000 budget to promote Touraine wine – what do they do with it? They promote Touraine primeur every November but the fashion for nouveau is over. There are other events such as a press tasting in Paris but these events have very little impact.”

“The promotion of Touraine wines has no clear objectives and no focus. Overall there is too much emphasis on the generic image of the Loire and not enough on the individual appellations.”

In 2011 the Bourgueil appellation left Interloire and the Fiefs Vendéens, a small appellation, will be leaving at the end of next year. 

Chidaine is also very critical that Interloire has not insisted on changes to the format of the annual Salon des Vins de Loire. “The Salon needs to evolve otherwise it will die,” said Chidaine. “Although the Salon brand name is owned by the Angers Parc des Expositions, Interloire puts up most of the finance, so it should demand that things change.”

Like many Loire vignerons, Chidaine is angry and finds it incomprehensible that this year there is a week between the four Salons-off – la Dive Bouteille, Renaissance tasting, the first Loire bio salon and the Puzelat and friends event – and the Salon des Vins de Loire. The off-events take place this weekend running through to Monday 30th January. Whereas the Salon des Vins de Loire is from 6th to 8th February.  

Many of the Loire producers I spoke to at Millésime Bio hope that next year all of these events will be held over the same period, so that people travelling from a distance do not have to choose between the Salons-Off and the Salon des Vins de Loire. This disharmony only hurts the Loire. 

“Interloire is supposed to bring coherence! The organization has become a big bureaucratic machine and doesn’t deliver value for money,” says Chidaine.

Jean-Martin Dutour, president of InterLoire, responded: “I can only regret that François has resigned in the middle of his term of office at a time when InterLoire is making important changes. In response to the demand for change we are refocusing on the appellations in terms of promotion and in the way Interloire works. This takes a long time but there will be results before the summer.

“Interloire promotes numerous events – details can be found on the local press and on our website.”  

Jean-Martin Dutour 

Jean-Martin Dutour’s response in full
François CHIDAINE a effectivement participé de plus prés aux travaux de l’interprofession en 2011 comme membre du Comité Exécutif. Nous saluons cette disponibilité et j’en profite pour remercier les élus qui donnent bénévolement de leur temp aux organisations collectives comme INTERLOIRE. Rien ne pourrait avancer sans leur engagement.

Je ne peux que regretter que François quitte le Conseil Exécutif en cours de mandat, au tournant d’une mutation importante d’INTERLOIRE.

A la demande des élus représentants la filière, nous avons entamé un travail profond de réorientation de l’interprofession vers les Appellations, réorientation de la communication mais aussi de notre fonctionnement. Ce travail est important. Il ne peut pas se faire sans la participation active des représentants de ces appellations. Il mobilise en particulier toute l’énergie des personnels d’INTERLOIRE. Ce travail est long mais aboutira avant l’été.

Pour autant INTERLOIRE continue à mettre en œuvre de très nombreuses actions. Il faudrait des dizaines de pages pour les exposer ici. Ces actions sont présentées largement lors des multiples réunions de la filières, par la presse spécialisée locale, sur le site internet d’Interloire ...

Plus spécifiquement pour l’appellation MONTLOUIS, je ne leur ferai pas l’affront de répondre à leurs interrogations par voie de presse ! Nous avons beaucoup discuté avec François et, à son invitation, je viendrai à la prochaine Assemblée Générale de l’Appellation pour évoquer avec eux le détail de tous ces points.'


30th January 2012: Chris Kissack, the Wine Doctor, runs a critical eye here over the Salon des Vins de Loire. 

2 comments:

Simian Roget said...

They need someone with the marketing genius of pancho campo. Since his career in Spanish wines is on rocky ground, he may as well move to France.

Jim Budd said...

Simian. Thank you. Although PC's career in Spanish wines may be on the rocks, I'm not convinced that his genius is required in the Loire. Instead the various parties need to realise that it is in their very clear mutual interest to work together.