Vignerons Indépendants – Why You Should Care
Vignerons Indépendants Are the Independent Growers of France
By sheer luck I had the opportunity to attend the Vignerons Indépendants Salon in Lyon, France in both 2015 and just recently, 2016. The Salon is an annual multi-day event where over 500 independent growers convene for a wine show with the intent to sell their wine to eager customers. The growers hold Salons all over France, so French customers don’t have far to go for an annual tasting and buying trip.
That’s great for French customers, why should you care? You should care because there are Vignerons Indépendants wines in your local wine shop; you can enjoy the fruits of their labors, too!
What Makes The Vignerons Indépendants?
The Vignerons Indépendants formed their organization in 1976, and they are now 7,000 strong. They are committed to remaining independent and living by some principles that wine enthusiasts will wholeheartedly support. Here’s an excerpt from the Vignerons Indépendants website, with translation via Google Translate:
“The Vigneron Indépendant
- Respects the soil,
- Works his vineyard,
- Harvests her grapes
- Vinifies and ages the wine,
- Develops the brand,
- Sets bottle production in his basement,
- Markets her products
- Perfects respect for tradition,
- Welcomes, advises tasting and takes pleasure in presenting the fruit of his labor and culture.”
Are you a Champagne fan? By definition, all the Vignerons Indépendants Champagnes are Grower Champagnes. The still wines are the products of individual families and small wineries. If you’re not lucky enough to be in France during a Salon, you can still support the Vignerons Indépendants, simply look for the symbol on the bottle. When you buy from Vignerons Indépendants, you’re supporting the little guy, the independent farmer and business owner.