"We have a sector that works well," says Thierry Jullion, president of the Syndicat des Vins de Pays Charentais. Charente and Charente-Maritime do not only produce cognac and pineau! Grouped under a protected geographical indication (IGP), winegrowers also produce white, red and rosé wines on nearly 1,500 hectares of vineyards.
The demand would even be sufficient to increase its surface area by 500 hectares, estimates Thierry Jullion. Himself based in Saint-Maigrin, in Charente-Maritime, this winegrower recommends increasing the prices of Charente wines to better invest and maintain margins. “If we are asked for so many Charentais wines, it is because we have reached a certain level of quality. Be proud of your product! Not a bottle for less than 5 euros, I still see some, ”he insisted during the annual general meeting of the union organized at the end of April at the castle of La Roche Courbon, near Saintes.
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Reflecting this collective ambition, the Cognac headquarters of the organization will undergo major renovation work from January 2023. This project, estimated at nearly 350,000 euros, has been entrusted to the Saintaise MG agency. “It’s about giving visibility to your know-how. The building permit is currently under review. Calls for tenders will be launched in September,” explained Christophe Godet, one of its architects.
The Syndicat des Vins de Pays Charentais will benefit from a showroom and concept store around a bar and a friendly space. "Each member will have the opportunity to display three of their bottles there," said the architect, who also designed an outdoor terrace and an adjoining office. "It's a great showcase to solidify our presence in the region and to support our local and national development", emphasizes Thierry Jullion.
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In 2021, Charente wines should reach nearly 60,000 hectoliters (the figures have yet to be consolidated) compared to 68,914 hectoliters in 2020. That year, 35% of these volumes concerned rosés, 34% whites and 31% red. Dominated by cooperatives and merchants, 37% of marketing was still carried out by independent winegrowers.