Loire Valley: The first Japanese investment in Anjou

Lundi 25 juin 2018 par Vitisphere

 Executives from Nichifutsu Shoji and their employees in the vineyards of Anjou in Coutures.
Executives from Nichifutsu Shoji and their employees in the vineyards of Anjou in Coutures.

In what is a first for the Anjou wine region, a Japanese group has taken over La Martinière, a small, 11-hectare estate with just 5 ha planted to vines, in Coutures, south-east of Angers. The estate is home to a unique terroir at the confluence between the Armorican massif and the Paris basin. The Japanese company Nichifutsu Shoji (French trading company) - one of whose executives knew Xavier Caillard the previous winegrower and owner - has invested €900,000 in the takeover which also includes a lovely 17th-century manor house. A further few thousand euros will now have to be invested in refurbishing the winery and vineyard equipment.

Fuelled by their interest in wine, the new managers wanted to invest in wine growing. “The geographical location, 1 ½  hours from Paris by TGV played a part in our decision," says Michel Tsutsui, director of the company which has maintained commercial links between France and Japan for over 50 years, via imports of French products and equipment for bakeries and patisserie manufacturers. Other commercial activities, such as imports of natural wines only, "to stand out from the many other importers of French wine", and Cointreau were subsequently added.

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