Cave de Chaintré , in the south of Burgundy, is one of the oldest cooperative cellars in France. Since 1928, it has been located at an old Gallo-Roman villa where a group of winegrowers enthusiastically cultivate the area’s star grape Chardonnay. In recent times, the cellar has received significant investment for the installation of modern equipment that strictly controls temperatures – a key feature in the production of top-quality white wines.
The estate’s home, the beautiful Château du Bois de la Salle, was originally a religious foundation when it was built in the 17th century. Monks lived here until 1658, when it was acquired by Baron Charrier de Laroche, first chaplain to Napoleon 1. The estate remained in the family until 1961 when Count Serres de Mesples sold the property and it became the head office of Cave des Producteurs de Julianas. This group of 83 winegrowing members came together to promote the wines of Beaujolais, with Raoul Janin (mayor of Jullié) becoming the union’s first president.
Traditionally, wine sales in Burgundy and Beaujolais were carried out by local merchant partners, but in order to harness the tourist market, the cooperative set up tasting cellars to make sampling easier and allow direct sales to customers. Guests can now try the wines in the grounds of the Château in Juliénas and at the ‘Moulin à l’Or' in Chaintré, a scenic setting with views over the vineyards towards the Mâcon basin.
The cooperative’s cellar has undergone several enlargements in recent years, and the vinification area is now fitted out with high-tech equipment for refining production techniques. Both the offices and the sales area have also seen upgrades for an improved experience for both workers and customers.
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