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First wine cooperative in France to be classified ‘national heritage’

Les Vignerons de Tavel, a cooperative cellar in the rose-only appellation of Tavel, has become the first wine cooperative in France to be declared part of France's national heritage for its architecture.

Cave de Tavel

The decision was taken in June, just a week after the Rhone Valley’s Hermitage Hill was given the same honour. It means both sites are protected as historic monuments.

Director of Les Vignerons de Tavel, Christian Paly, told decanter.com that they hope to see indirect economic benefits.

‘Firstly, to be recognised as an historic monument is important for us in terms of image and renown, and may help to attract new visits and clients. But this will also help us continue to strive for excellence with our vineyards and wines, and will help protect the area around the cellar against any unwise urban development,’ he said.

The cooperative cellar in Tavel – which produces 2.5 million bottles of wine from 680 hectares of vines, and works with 85 winemakers – was inaugurated in 1938 by the President of the Republic, Albert Lebrune, and was designed by architect Henri Floutier and sculptor Armand Pellier.

It already receives up to 30,000 visitors per year, but expects to see a boost in numbers.

Written by Jane Anson

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