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The vineyards of Lugny were already well known in the 18th century, when the wines coming from the vines of Saint Pierre, the Crêts and theGrande Vigne were considered “fine”. Following the destruction of the vines by phylloxera between 1880 and 1887, the 500 hectares of the village’s vineyards were patiently reconstituted from 1883 and would progressively again become the principal activity of the region.
Officially founded the 30th of January, 1927, the « Coopérative Vinicole de Lugny » was the second cooperative created in the Mâconnais region, one year after that of Saint-Gengoux-de-Scissé. It was necessary to answer to the continuing sales problems caused by over production that was hitting French wines at that time. By collecting a communal harvest and vinifying the entirety with grouped sales of the wines and their by-products, the idea was to not only emancipate the winegrowers from the guardianship of the merchant houses, but to also liberate them from the weight of heavy investments while at the same time inciting a qualitative improvement of the harvest.
Built on the border of the departmental highway 56, the cooperative was constructed from stones coming from the neighboring quarries of Boucherette and Belzonnois. The building is characterized by its sober facades and the few openings (light being enemy to the conservation of wine). So as to gain surface area, the cooperative would privilege the use of cement tanks and would be equipped with the highest performance materials of the period. Adjoining the main building an apartment for the cellar master was built, important person who oversaw all winemaking operations. Mr. Jules Duvernay was the first cellar master of the cooperative and would occupy this position for a number of years.
From its creation, the cooperative accepted adhesion from winegrowers from the neighboring villages of Lugny: Bissy-la-Mâconnaise, Burgy, Chardonnay , Cruzille, Grevilly, Montbellet, Péronne and Saint-Gengoux-de-Scissé.
From the very beginning every winegrower member “co-operator” would deliver a harvest proportional to the number of parts to which he had subscribed, and could keep a portion of his harvest for himself. These terms would then be changed in 1930. The creation of this cooperative structure was an important event that would change the way of life of the winegrowers of that time. This structure permitted them to cultivate larger surfaces since their annual workload would now end with the harvest. Its success was thus immediate as winegrowers sought to adhere by droves.
Capable of stocking 8,000 hectoliters at the time of its creation, the cooperative would attain a capacity of 24,000 hectoliters at the eve of World War II.
Eugene Blanc, President and founder of the cooperative, would manage and direct it until 1959. Mayor of Lugny from 1910 to 1945, as county council member he would preside the federation of the cooperative of Saône-et-Loire from its creation in 1927 and would play a major role in the organization of the cooperative political structure in the Mâconnais region with the help of Mr. Henri Boulay, mayor of Saint-Gengoux-de-Scissé and Deputy of the county of Saône-et-Loire. Knight of the French Legion of Honor, Commander of Agricultural Merit, Eugene Blanc died in 1964.
Concerned with the promotion of its wines, the cooperative would organize from 1948 an annual fair and exposition held the weekend of “the Rameaux”, or branches, an event that was a rapid success that would radiate over the entire Mâconnais region through the end of the 1990s.
The cooperative of Lugny joined forced with that of Saint-Gengoux-de-Scissé in 1966, forming the first cooperative of appellation wines recognized as a union of winegrowers by the French Minister of Agriculture. Investments were made to extend the buildings, the installations were modernized and the two cellars became specialized, with the white wines being elaborated in Lugny and the reds in Saint-Gengoux-de-Scissé. In 1994 the cooperative of Lugny fusioned with that of the neighboring town of Chardonnay, thus becoming the largest cooperative in Burgundy.
The cooperative is today the premier producer of Mâconnais wines (1/3 of the region’s total volume), and the premier producer of Burgundy wines in volume and in surface area (6% of total production) with1,450 hectares cultivated in 21 communities for a total production of 9.7 million hectolitres.
Today the Cave Cooperative of Lugny has specialized its three cellars, that in Chardonnay being where the sparkling wines are elaborated, with the reds being made in Saint-Gengoux-de-Scissé. The Cave de Lugny produces Crémant de Bourgogne since 1975, sparkling appellation wine elaborated in the most strict respect to tradition (1 million liters commercialized in 2010).