11 May, 2002

Hidden gold of the coops

In Champagne the major part of 140 cooperatives live a rather quiet life. They often produce genuine champagnes, but they lack the marketing and the experts, needed to make it one step up: Where you find the sublime.

The coops on the other hand through their members and owners have access to the grapes, that the champagne houses yearn for these days, where the sale of champagne expands year after year.

This means, that persons with access to money and expertise to develop products and marketing, have a rather interesting potential in the coops here. The grapes are here, if the quality of the final champagne can be increased, so can the price.

The other day I wrote about the new alliance of Edmond Rothschild with the cooperative "Goutte d'Or" in Vertus.

It shall be exciting to see, if more similar alliances will pop up, and certainly also what consequences it may get for the deliveries of grapes to the big champagnehouses, that depend on their ability to buy grapes, must and wine from the small growers and the cooperatives.

A few champagne cooperatives market and develop their products more than average. The first example is Nicolas Feuillatte. A cooperative that in 30 år has developped into an international brand like the old houses. But also De Castelnau and the village ofMailly Champagne here in the Montagne de Reims market and sell own products under the village name all over the world. So there are exceptions, just not that many. Yet.

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