Let’s end prejudices and preconceived ideas about cooperative wineries
As everyone knows, a cooperative winery is a structure that brings together independent winegrowers who are the owners of that very structure. As such, the winery does not buy the grapes or the must from the winemakers, but it transforms and sells it on their behalf.
Cooperative wineries are already well known for defending an operating system designed to support quality, the maintenance of family viticulture, solidarity and mutual assistance among cooperators, as well as the protection of the environment, their employees, and their consumers.
An unjustified opposition
There will always be some bad apples, whether it be among cooperative or independent wineries – but let’s ignore them from the outset. For the others, which constitute the vast majority, the differences between cooperative wineries and independent winemakers are almost non-existent: they follow the same vinification methods, employ qualified staff, resort to the same consultants, and the same laboratories for their analyses; they all use high-performance work tools, and, above all, they all carefully select the grapes based on terroir, quality, and variety, and all adapt their vinification and ageing processes to all of the characteristics the grapes express, in order to offer a wide range of products.
Union des Caves du Médoc : a hand-made approach
40 different wines produced out of 350 hectares of vineyard, that is an average of 8.75 ha per product ! This is well below the average for the Médoc or Bordeaux regions, where some large independent estates, classified or not, can produce several hundred thousand bottles of just one type and brand. Our approach is therefore very far from being industrial – as for us, variety takes priority over quantity !
A rewarding track record
Another revealing fact: our results in national and international competitions, magazines, and guides. No less than 17 awards for the 2020 vintage.
Should the wines produced by cooperative wineries appear any less good just because their prices are affordable ?