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




Monday, 20 November 2017

Cave Coopérative de Francueil closes its doors

An ad from happier days



From La Nouvelle République: 17.11.2017 : 
'Dans la vallée du Cher, la Cave de la Gourmandière à Francueil a choisi de mettre la clef sous la porte plutôt que de virer au rouge. La fin d’une époque.

L’esprit coopératif a-t-il du plomb dans l’aile dans le vignoble tourangeau ? Une nouvelle fois, c’est la question que l’on est amené à se poser après la dissolution volontaire de la cave de La Gourmandière à Francueil. A la fin du mois d’octobre, les derniers adhérents de cette vénérable société coopérative créée en 1923 ont effet décidé de jeter l’éponge plutôt que de s’exposer aux affres d’une faillite potentielle. « La décision a été prise a l’unanimité des votants. On a préféré anticipé plutôt que d’aller dans le mur et d’entraîner nos fournisseurs dans notre chute », résume l’actuel président de la structure, Jean-Pierre Moreau.'

Read the rest here 

The closure of the Francueil Cave Co-operative does not come as a surprise. In September there were rumours that it would close. The NR article cites that of its 100 remaining members only 6 were under 60 years old. Production had fallen to just 4700 hls with a turnover of 1.7 million euros in 2016. This was down 22.06% on 2015. Doubtless the 2016 frosts and mildew were a big factor here. However, I also sense that the Francueil co-op failed to move with the times.  

Although it is true that many producer now prefer to make and sell their own wine there are still successful co-operatives. The nearby co-op Cellier de Beaujardin in Bléré is certainly more dynamic and it also exports to the UK. In 2016 its turnover was 2.4 million euros. 

The best Ligerian example, however, of successful cooperative organisation is Alliance Loire. The group was formed in 2002 and is based in Saint-Cyr-en-Bourg and includes seven co-operatives running from Muscadet to Touraine not forgetting the Vendômois.

Alliance Loire was originally eight coops but La Cave de Mareau aux Près near Orléans is closing this year due to the severe 2016 April frost. In any case there are few vineyards left around Orléans. 

Alliance Loire's membership of 775 growers has 4050 hectares of vines. Last year the Cave Cooperative of Bourgueil and Robert & Marcel, the co-op at Saint-Cyr, already part of Alliance Loire decided to fully join forces. The combined set-up has a turnover of 28 million euros and produces 11 million bottles. Puts Bléré and Francueil into perspective!  

Alliance Loire is also a shareholder in Ackerman, the producer and négociant, who have pursued a decidedly expansionist policy in recent years. Recent acquisitions include Château la Varière in Brissac-Quincé, Monmousseau in Montrichard and this year – Château de Sancerre.       

2 comments:

wcs said...

Sad news. We visit the co-op several times a year and have taken American friends along for tasting. Always a friendly place. We're sorry to see it go.

Jim Budd said...

Suggest that you try the co-operative in Bléré.