I'm always up for a spot of wine tasting, plus I felt the need to visit a winemaking cooperative after writing Understanding Winemaking Cooperatives. So, this week I was pleased to be invited for a tour at Producteurs Plaimont here in Southwest France.
In Southwest France and Gascony, there are hundreds of small producers, spread across a lot of land. I am a big fan of the wines from the SW, particularly Saint Mont. Chateau Saint-Go, a St. Mont wine, gives some Bordeaux wines a run for their money in my opinion. I wanted to write a piece and share the love for Chateau Saint-Go on my website but couldn’t find any independent info anywhere about them.
It was then that I found out they were part of a co-op called Producteurs Plaimont. That led to me doing some research and taking a visit to Plaimont where my knowledge of cooperatives grew.
Producteurs Plaimont couldn’t be further from the old original, poor quality cooperative mould.
These guys have a massive business and have become renowned in the wine industry as one of the leaders in the cooperative field. With over 1000 growers, 200 employees and a production of nearly 40 million bottles annually they export to over 30 different countries in addition to selling 45% in France alone.
PLAIMONT represents wines from the Plaisance, Aignan and St. Mont (98% of production) regions of the SW along with wines from Madiran and Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh (48% of production), Bearn, Côtes de Gasgogne (almost 50% of production) and Côtes du Condomais. This is a huge portfolio and in addition to their large repertoire Plaimont also owns the emblematic chateaux of Arricau, Bascou, Sabazan, Cassaigne and Saint-Go, which produces the cooperative’s finest wines.