Founded in 1967, Vignerons Ardèchois is one of the best-run cooperatives in southeastern France. The vineyards are farmed by 1,000 different families who tend between 5 and 25 hectares each. Vignerons Ardèchois allows them to preserve the rural atmosphere and way of life in the region – over half of the families still practice polyculture farming and grow stone fruits, olives, almonds, and lavender in addition to tending their vineyards.
Located between the foothills of the Cévennes and the Rhône river at an average altitude of nearly 300 meters, the cooperative lies outside the typical division of Northern and Southern Rhône, and can be considered the “Wild West” of the Rhône Valley. The southern latitude allows the grapes to fully ripen, but the unusual freshness of the wines comes from the higher altitude.
In the vineyards, growers agree to a sustainable chart that limits yields, only allows organic fertilizers, and adheres to the sustainable HVE 3 French certification. As for the vinification, since the creation of the coop in the 1960s, Vignerons Ardèchois has used a decentralized system where 12 local vinification centers receive grapes from the nearby vineyards which allow the grapes to be pressed and vinified within a 15-minute drive of their vineyard. Their mission consists, first and foremost, in supporting winegrowers towards practices that are more respectful of the environment. “It starts with support for soil work, grassing, green work (manual work done on the vines from the moment the vines are in flower: disbudding, leaf stripping, lifting, trimming, thinning or harvest in green…). “
Since 2016, the winemaking at Vignerons Ardéchois has been overseen by the young and dynamic Marion Bosquet. Originally from Sancerre, Marion is an agricultural engineer and oenologist who worked in the Northern Rhone, Australia, and the Loire Valley before joining the Vignerons Ardechois team.