Rhône co-op wins historic status

Les Vignerons de Tavel has become the first co-operative in France to be awarded historic monument status.

A relief of Bacchus by Pellier on the side of the co-operative

A relief of Bacchus by Armand Pellier, which adorns the side of the co-operative

Built in 1937 by architect Henri Floutier in collaboration with sculptor Armand Pellier, the co-operative’s “neo-provençal” style stood out at the time as being unusual for an industrial building.

The new listing, which was announced in June, comes 75 years after Les Vignerons de Tavel’s official inauguration by French president Albert Lebrun.

In addition to offering protection to the building and its immediate area, the listing may also bring tourism benefits – and possible new customers – to the co-operative, which already receives around 30,000 visitors each year.

Each year Les Vignerons de Tavel sends out 2.5 million bottles from this rosé-only appellation of Tavel, with exports to key markets around the world.

Production also includes a smaller proportion of red and white wines under the Côtes du Rhone classification, as well as from the neighbouring appellation of Lirac. In total Les Vignerons de Tavel represents 85 growers, who produce 35,000 hectolitres from 680 hectares.

The building now joins more than 40,000 historic monuments in France, including Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, the village of Riquewihr in Alsace and fellow Rhône buildings the Palais des Papes in Avignon and the Pont du Gard near Nimes.

Just a week earlier, the famous hill of Hermitage in the northern Rhône was also added to the list, despite fears last year that plans to construct a phone mast there would jeopardise this status.

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