Here are two crucial quotes from the release:
'Dès janvier 2008, elle lancera une nouvelle campagne de communication, confiée à l’agence Jump, mettant en avant la Loire, afin de valoriser son image d’entité viticole.'
(From January 2008 a new publicity campaign will be launched by the Jump agency that will concentrate on the Loire promoting its image as a wine producing region.)
‘De la même façon, la fusion renforcera l’importance du négoce qui assure à lui seul 60 % de la mise en marché des vins, contre 25 % pour les vignerons et 15 % pour les caves coopératives, alors que la commercialisation, au sein de l’interprofession Anjou-Touraine, était également répartie entre négoce et producteurs.’
(The merger reinforces the importance of the négociants who will now account for 60% of sales, compared to 25% for the vignerons and 15% for the cave co-operatives. When Interloire just covered Anjou-Touraine sales were equally split between the négoce and the producers.)
Two years on from the merger the tensions have become evident. Can the two sides find an accommodation? Or will the producers continue to feel marginalised and railroaded by the négociants? It is worth remembering that, although the négociants sell much the greater volume of wine, it is the top Loire producers who raise the region's reputation. Currently the Loire has much going for it – a series of good vintages, especially the very promising 2009; an often high reputation for interesting wines at reasonable prices; and, if wine drinkers around the world really are looking for lower alcohol wines that are food friendly, then the Loire is one of the few wine producing regions that can and does deliver such wines.
Interloire's AGM will be held in Nantes on 22nd December – malgré le météo sera une reunion chaud! Time for accommodation and compromise, I trust.