Crisis-resistant Sancerre winery poised to welcome new members

Tuesday January 26 2021 by Vitisphere

 The co-operative currently markets 12,000 hectolitres of wine, but reportedly has the capacity to accommodate 25 to 30,000 hl of wine. The co-operative currently markets 12,000 hectolitres of wine, but reportedly has the capacity to accommodate 25 to 30,000 hl of wine. - Photo credit : Cave des Vins de Sancerre

There is a well-known saying in the world of co-operative wineries: when the going is good, everyone tends to go it alone, but when the going gets tough, collaboration is the name of the game. The Sancerre co-operative winery, the leading player in a region particularly hard hit by additional duties in the American market (45% of exports) and the health crisis that has shut down the all-important hospitality industry, is a case in point. “We now feel that people are looking towards us as an economic and marketing solution”, says Christophe Mangeart, managing director of the Cave des Vins de Sancerre.

As its 80 members only bring part of their crop to the winery, the co-operative is expecting an increase in volumes from its growers, whilst at the same time predicting the arrival of new winegrowers due to a crisis which is deepening across the region, but leaving the winery relatively unscathed. “Our sales network has protected us relatively well from the issues being faced”, comments Mangeart, who points out that although 60% of the winery's sales come from exports, the majority of the wines are shipped to Great Britain to be sold in supermarkets. With low exposure to the American market, the co-operative has been fairly unaffected by the additional duties introduced on October 18, 2019.

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