When asked why he wasn't interested in the sport of kings, the Shah of Iran said it was well known that some horses run faster than others. Similarly, some co-operatives are better than others. In general, co-operatives are not expected to outshine good individual producers but some are so good as to merit strong admiration. Over half of French wine production comes from co-operatives by the way.
One of these is the estimable Plaimont Producteurs in Southwest France. Here is a version of their self-description;
Benedictine monks from the Monastery of St. Mont made wine from the middle ages on yet for many years the wines were destined for distillation in the production of Armagnac. Then came Andre Dubosc a native son of the area and vigneron for three generations who, helped by a team of young winemakers established the appellations St. Mont, Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh moelleux and Côtes de Gascogne. 1979 was the year when Plaisance, Aignan and Saint Mont dans le Gers amalgamated their cellars and their initials (PL for Plaisance, AI for Aignan and MONT for Saint Mont) to form the Union des Caves which became Plaimont Producteurs at Saint Mont (Gers). In 1999 they were joined by the Caves de Crouseilles (producing Madiran, Pacherenc de Vic-Bilh and Béarn) and Condom (Côtes de Gascogne et Condomois).
From the start Plaimont Producteurs bought the best chateaux and domaines of the region from Aquitaine to the Pyrenees in order to re-establish these emblematic and unique vineyards and elevate their image in the service of the organization.
An exceptional genetic inheritance.
Our native varieties, spread across a very particular climate, Tannat for our reds from Madiran and Saint Mont, Gros and Petit Manseng for the whites of Saint Mont and Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh.
But one treasure always hides another. We have parcels of pre-phylloxera vines unique in France, one of which dates from the 1st Empire!
Our white varieties
Gros and Petit Manseng
Our Red varieties
Pinenc (Fer Servadou)
A unique conservatoire of old varieties.
Nature's magic has preserved an exceptional genetic inheritance.
Based on their genetic researches scientists have been able to determine that the Adour region was the cradle of the great Oceanic varieties, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc which then spread out to Bordeaux, the Loire and the coast of Cantabria in Spain, Northern Portugal (Porto and the Douro) and Latin America.
The foothills of the Pyrenees is the paradise for 'Lambrusques' or wild vines, never cultivated by man, occurring naturally, supported on tree-trunks... 12 completely unknown varieties have been found there which are not even hermaphrodite, hence little-cultivated by man. Wine has begun to be produced from these.
This preserved wealth has allowed Plaimont Producteurs to create the most important private and officially recognized grape collection in France.
It is the latter part of this mission statement which caught our eye. Chapeau!
|Nice people too....|