Coulée de Serrant breaks away from Loire Valley marketing board

Wednesday February 18 2015 by Vitisphere

In a press statement released on February 9, famed Loire wine estate Coulée de Serrant announced its intention of leaving Interloire and establishing its own growers’ organisation or ODG. As some people commented ironically following the announcement, it wasn’t difficult for estate owner Nicolas Joly to secure a unanimous decision for the breakaway: his famous wine is a 7-hectare appellation in its own right.


Nicolas Joly’s decision follows a court ruling by the Angers district court, ordering the high-profile wine grower to pay Interloire between 4,000 and 5,000 euros for refusing to pay compulsory levies to the marketing board. He explained his refusal by an ethical difference of opinion over his biodynamic approach to wine making and the conventional approach advocated for the most part by the board. “Growers who have been working organically or biodynamically for decades have created a heightened sense of place in the taste profile of their wines. Despite this, they have had to watch their levies being used to extol the virtues of “stateless wines”, orphans with no roots or history”, he explained. “It is totally unthinkable for growers who have adopted a purist approach for over 30 years to put high-tech wines on an equal footing with authentic, genuine-tasting offerings. Interloire, which also has financial motives, has bluntly refused to hear our side of the story, despite our repeated requests”.


Nicolas Joly certainly couldn’t be accused of having financial motives. His 20,000 to 25,000 bottles of Coulée de Serrant produced annually sell for around 70 euros a bottle. The compulsory levies (€4.5 per hl) represent just 0.05% of his turnover.


Joly’s attitude reveals a new strategy by opponents of the levy policy implemented by the marketing board. The high-profile barrister, Maître Collard, represented by Renée Fhal, has been called in. The Parisian barrister has confirmed that an official criminal complaint was filed recently, though refused to disclose details, saying she “bound by professional secrecy”. Interloire declined to comment.


[Source: Vitisphère; Photo: (Coulée de Serrant)]

Tags : High-Tech


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