UNIVITIS

Bordeaux, France

In 1935, the first cooperative wineries were born, and among them was the historic Lèves winery, the foundation of Univitis. This marked the beginning of a collective effort to unite local wine producers. Fast forward to 1974 when the producers of Lèves and Côtes de Gensac joined forces to embark on marketing their wines in bottles through a SICA (Société d’Intérêts Collectifs Agricoles). Univitis, recognized as a producer organization, officially came into existence in 1984 following the transformation of the original SICA created in 1973.

A significant milestone for Univitis occurred in 1986 with the purchase of Château les Vergnes, a sprawling 120-hectare property that would become their flagship vineyard, representing the true essence of the group’s viticultural expertise. In recognition of their commitment to sustainable practices, Château les Vergnes was awarded the “Sustainable Agriculture” label in 2005.

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The year 2008 witnessed the merging of the UNIVITIS union and its member wineries: Cave des Lèves, Saint-André, La Roquille, Côtes de Gensac, Graves de Vayres, and Villefranche de Lonchat, forming a single legal entity with the status of an Agricultural Cooperative Society. As a result, Univitis currently brings together 135 winegrowers and their families under one cooperative organization, facilitating the pooling of resources for a sustainable future.

By working together, winegrowers in a cooperative can focus on their profession, dedicating themselves to the cultivation and maintenance of their vines until harvest time. Once the grapes are harvested, they are brought to the cooperative, which handles the vinification, maturation, bottling, and marketing processes of the wines produced. This collaborative approach not only optimizes efficiency but also ensures the preservation of local communities, the fabric of local economic life, and the overall quality of rural living.

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Univitis is committed to the transmission of viticultural knowledge between generations and the preservation of their cherished terroir. They have embraced the ecological transition by adopting organic farming practices, obtaining High Environmental Value (HVE) certification, and promoting the rational use of resources. Currently, 65 hectares of Univitis vineyards are certified organic, with no herbicides or synthetic products used. Their dedication to sustainability is further demonstrated by their goal to have over 275 hectares of vineyards certified organic within the next three years. Château les Vergnes embarked on its organic farming journey in 2018, and the eagerly awaited moment has finally arrived with the release of their first organic vintage in 2021.

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The grape varieties cultivated by Univitis reflect the diversity of the region. Reds consist of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Malbec, while whites include Sémillon, Sauvignon, Muscadelle, and Colombard. Each variety is carefully tended to, allowing the unique characteristics of the terroir to shine through in their wines.

Univitis stands as a beacon of cooperation, preserving heritage, and promoting sustainability in winemaking. Through their collective efforts, they not only ensure the success of their individual winegrowers but also contribute to the preservation of a way of life deeply rooted in their local communities and the beautiful terroir they call home.

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Univitis' Wines

  • Univitis Château les Vergnes Rouge

    Bordeaux Blend Red

  • Univitis Grand Theatre Rouge

    Bordeaux Blend Red

  • Univitis Château Les Vergnes Blanc

    Bordeaux Blend White

  • Univitis Château le Clairiot

    Bordeaux Blend Red

  • Univitis Grand Theatre Rose

    Bordeaux Blend Red

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