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

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

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

After a wasted year Frédéric Brochet (Ampelidae) takes over Haut-Poitou Co-op

Frédéric Brochet@Ampelidae 
September 2013 during the vintage 

 Current premises of the Cave du Haut-Poitou in Neuville

The abandoned old coop winery premises 

 just down the road from current premises

Late last September we dropped in to see Frédéric Brochet at Ampelidae during the vintage. He told me about the Coop's financial problems and the rescue plan that he and his backers had to put together. Although it was approved initially by the members of the cooperative, it fell foul of local politics and jealousies and the the agreement was rescinded. Ampelidae made wine for some of the coop members in 2014 and the Haut-Poitou coop went into administration – officially confirmed on 20th November 2013. 

At the time I covered the story on Les 5 du Vin here.

It proved impossible to find a buyer until on 28th March 2014 the Tribunal de Grande Instance at Poitiers accepted an offer from Brochet and Ampelidae to take over the Coop. The offer is worth 2.804 million euros with 900.000€ immediately. The Ampelidae offer was preferred to one from Vins et Fruits  makers of fruity wine cocktails in Châtillon-sur-Thouet. Had the bid from Vins et Fruits been successful I assume that the grapes from the remanining members of the coop would have been used to make base wine for the expanding market for fruity wine cocktails.
News stories about Ampelidae's successful bid:

Haut-Poitou La Coop reprise par Ampelidae
Story by Patrick Touchais 1.4.14:
'Frédéric Brochet, vigneron et négociant dans la Vienne, a repris la cave du Haut-Poitou, criblée de dette. Il se dit prêt à travailler avec tous les anciens coopérateurs qui voudront lui livrer leur récolte.

Tout ça pour ça ! Le tribunal de grande instance de Poitiers (Vienne) vient de confier la cave du Haut-Poitou à Ampelidae. En septembre, Frédéric Brochet, le gérant de cette entreprise basée à Marigny-Brizay, avait fait une offre de reprise de la coopérative. Malgré un niveau d’endettement élevé, qui aurait été apuré par cette opération, les adhérents avaient repoussé son offre. Entre-temps, la coop a été placée en redressement judiciaire.

Read more at'

Also here from Charente Libre.

It is unfortunate that best part of a year has been wasted for those producers who decided not to go in with Ampelidae last autumn. In the 1980s and early 1990s the Cave du Haut-Poitou was a success story – hopefully under Ampelidae there will be a return to more positive times.

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