Winegrowers, cooperative cellars and wine merchants
6,200 winegrowers, 250 wine merchants and 16 cooperative cellars work hard every day to produce Loire Valley wines. Whatever their job, whether they work in the vineyard or the winery, the people who shape the Loire Valley vineyards do so with a combination of knowledge and skill, producing the world’s most diverse range of wines.
The Loire Valley winegrowers
Being a winegrower is a demanding job. For a long time, winegrowers remained faithful to the methods used by their forebears, but have now also proved themselves capable of adapting to new practices. The changes have been made gradually, with a maximum of good sense and a minimum of fuss.
Every part of the winegrower’s work, whether in the winery or out in the vineyards, is an integral part of the quest for quality, both in the grapes and in the resulting wine. Pruning, de-leafing, harvesting, winemaking, aging … the work is arduous, but fuelled by passion.
Loire Valley wine cooperatives
Cooperative cellars are able to share both costs and income within a collective type structure.
Winegrowers agree to comply with a detailed set of specifications, and bring their harvests to the winery. The winery’s technicians and oenologists take charge of pressing, vinification and aging. The resulting wines are promoted and distributed by the winery sales team.
Loire Valley merchants
A merchants is someone who buys grapes to make into wine, and makes wine to sell. Some merchants are themselves vineyard owners.
They can, therefore, also be producers, and may sell their own wines alongside those of independent winemakers.
The merchants may also blend and mature wines, buying wines from the same appellation made by different producers, blending and maturing them in his/her own cellars. Some of the great Maisons de Négoce produce and sell wines from other regions.