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In 2017, the Vignerons du Pays d’Ensérune launched a major investment plan for the wine making facilities at Cazouls-les-Béziers.
The objective is to develop innovative vinification processes that are not only highly effective but also environementally friendly.
After less than eight month’s work, the Cazouls winery has been completely transformed to meet new standards, in terms of quality of course, and in terms of sustainability and responsibility: this 21st century winery already complies with tomorrow’s standards, i.e. reduced water consumption, less waste, and measures to ensure the safety and well-being of employees.
Always striving to produce more environmentally-friendly wines, the Vignerons du Pays d’Ensérune implemented mating disruption in 2015 to combat the grape worm. This method involves releasing pheromones that prevent the butterflies from mating and hence the birth of any larvae.
Known as biological pest control, this technique provides an effective, environmentally-friendly alternative to chemical treatments. It is now used on more than 550 hectares since its launch in 2015.
In 2014, the four Grands Vins produced by the Atelier Prestige were acknowledged by one of the most influential wine publications in the world, Robert Parker’s “Wine Advocate”.
The AOP Saint-Chinian “L’Apogée” and the PGI Coteaux d’Ensérune “Les Illustres” were ranked among the top wines.
The ultimate accolade for our devoted winegrowers, and a validation of the rigorous quality approach launched six years ago.
In 2013, the Vignerons du Pays d’Ensérune joined forces with the Water Agency in an environmental initiative. Diagnostics were carried out on their growing practices and their impact on biodiversity in the vineyards.
A major awareness programme was then organized to encourage winegrowers to change their growing practices in order to conserve and preserve the quality of surface and underground water resources. Tools enabling ploughing between and under the vines gradually replaced chemical products.
Vignobles Foncalieu received the Revue des Vins de France magazine’s “Wine Cooperative of the year” award. The wines regularly receive awards at major events, such as Vinalies Internationales, the Brussels International Competition, Chardonnay du Monde, Syrah du Monde, and the International Agricultural Show in Paris. Our wines are exported all over the world.
In 2009, the Vignerons du Pays d’Ensérune began using organic winegrowing and vinification methods. Support is provided for members of the cooperative who wish to convert to organic farming and develop a new range of organic wines.
In 2008, in collaboration with the Union les Vignobles Foncalieu, the Atelier Prestige was set up, with a more rigorous set of specifications, to mobilize dedicated winegrowers. The grapes are sorted by hand, the musts are vinified separately with the production of four top-of-the-range wines. A serious challenge for our winegrowers and oenologists!
The Vignerons du pays d’Ensérune joined the Union de Coopératives Les Vignobles Foncalieu in order to further develop the potential of their vineyards. They were joined by other wineries in the Grand Suud, Corbières, Minervois and the Côtes de Rhône.
In the 2000s, the Vignerons du Pays d’Ensérune decided to monitor the flora and fauna in the Lespignan wetlands. They took protective measures to save nesting birds, especially one rare, threatened species, the Lesser Grey Shrike, which for several years provided the inspiration for a wine.
In 1995, the descendants of the Vignerons Libres de Maraussan organized the largest merger of wineries in France, consisting of seven cooperatives producing more than 700,000 hectolitres. A major step forward for the French wine industry.
And so it was that the Vignerons du Pays d’Ensérune were created. Solidarity and democratic values are upheld, with the objective of improving members’ incomes.
The harvest in 1914, when the First World War broke out, was abundant, and winegrowers in the Midi were able to produce substantial quantities of wine. The Vignerons Libres united with numerous winegrowers in the Midi to donate more than 200, 000 hectolitres of wine to the French army to “keep up the troops’ morale”.
Just four years later, in 1905, the first cellars were built. The site drew inspiration from a visit by Jean Jaurès, who was full of praise for the initiative as an example of collective action. He also bought a share in the winery.
The cooperative members proudly announced their humanist project on the front of the building. The old musketeers’ motto was slightly modified to reflect the cooperative’s solidarity:
“ALL FOR ONE, ONE FOR ALL”.
The winery has been classified as an Historic Monument, not only for its historical significance, but also because of the symbol that it represents for the winegrowers.
In response to the troubled economic climate and in order to build up a sales network that was independent of the wine merchants, the first wine cooperative in France was created on 23 December 1901 in Maraussan.