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Bordeaux coops to be reduced ‘drastically’

Bordeaux cooperatives are looking to drastically reduce their offer in an attempt to boost sales and productivity.

Under the ‘Plan Bordeaux Demain’ (Bordeaux Tomorrow) initiative, the existing 24 wine cooperatives of Bordeaux, Bordeaux Superieur and the Cotes de Bordeaux will be grouped into five groups by 2016.

Stéphane Heraud, President of the Vignerons de Tutiac in Blaye, told Decanter.com, ‘Today there are 33 cooperatives in our appellations, with nine already grouping together to sell their products – so 24 different entities in total.

‘We need this to become far more streamlined, to ensure that the quality and presentation of the wine is right for the consumer, and to ensure that it gets to market smoothly and efficiently.’

The plan would affect 2,000 winemakers – including 40% of those who bottle under AOC Bordeaux – and 25,000ha of vines.

After comprehensive audits, the most likely outcome is that the five ‘public-facing’ cooperatives will be Caves de Rauzan, Univitis, L’Union Guyenne, Les Vignerons de Tutiac and U2VBA (Union Vin et Vignobles de Bordeaux et d’Aquitaine).

The style of wine they are looking to make will be mostly grouped within the ‘Fun’ category of Bordeaux Plan Demain, which means €2-6 per bottle.

‘Basic’ wines sold for below €2 per bottle are intended to be phased out under the plan.

‘Inevitably there will be some resistance to the plans, and we can’t force members to comply. But we need to face reality and modernise both our wines, and the way we package them and sell them to consumers,’ Heraud said.

Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux

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