Gers : l’arrivée du négociant de vins Sudvin, filiale du géant Cordier, suscite des inquiétudes

Gers : l'arrivée du négociant de vins Sudvin, filiale du géant Cordier, suscite des inquiétudes

the essential
Sudvin, a subsidiary of the giant Cordier, settles in the Gers to stock up on white wine. An arrival that provokes a rather mixed reception, in particular from the cooperatives.

Sudvin Gascogne arrived quietly at the beginning of July in Gers. “Sudvin is a wine merchant, part of a group that bottles,” says winemaker-buyer Jean Leplus, originally from Lupiac and representing Sudvin Gascogne. We want to develop our ranges in Gascony and whites, supplying ourselves in the Gers department. This means that Sudvin Gascogne wants to find must and grapes in the department, with local partners. If Sudvin Gascogne is a development of Sudvin, a company based in Languedoc in Béziers, it is above all a subsidiary of the powerful Cordier by InVivo group.

a wine giant

Cordier is already the 3rd player in the French wine sector, and his ambitions push him towards export. When you know that Côte de Gascogne is one of the best-selling white wines in the world, this is what makes you envious. Other big players have already positioned themselves in the Gers, such as the Distillerie de la Tour. After 40 years of work on the appellation, the improvement of the vintages, the conquest of markets, it is tempting to hang up the wagons of the already launched train, confides a manager of a Gers cooperative. But Cordier, backed by InVivo, one of Europe’s leading agricultural groups, and its €10 billion turnover, has immeasurable resources.

Cellar 931 and its 120,000 hectoliter capacity, in Gondrin, has already been rented to store Sudvin Gascogne’s purchases. Jean Leplus wants to be reassuring. “Sudvin already bought wines in the department, through partners. There they try to develop the Gascony ranges, because they also do the bottling. »

However, he recognizes that the establishment of the Cordier by InVivo group in the Gers sector prefigures commercial expansion. “They want to transfer their white wine production to Gascony. Regarding whites, there are not many areas for possible development, as Bordeaux and Languedoc do not have large white productions. In Languedoc, Sudvin worked with cooperatives and producers. For Sudvin Gascogne, the situation is different. The objective is to find producer partners, to buy the must and the grapes from them. Warehouse 931 will be used for processing.

When asked if Sudvin Gascogne will become a competitor for the wine players already present in the Gers, Jean Leplus replies: “Not necessarily, we bring a portfolio that is new. There is no direct competition. This will allow to bring dynamism and choice in terms of outputs for producers in the Gers. We don’t want to destroy the value. “Contacts are underway with producers, and local elected officials would prefer to welcome this arrival of a competitor.


As for cooperatives, the reception is more mixed, but we want to avoid preconceived ideas. “The unknown is always scary,” says Plaimont general manager Olivier Bourdet Pees. This requires vigilance on our part. If they are absolute giants, who come to capture the added value without nourishing the territory, they become dangerous. Like other actors in the Gers, he prefers to think that Sudvin Gascogne’s objectives will contribute to the promotion of Gers wines. “The financial power of these groups can be used to invest in order to conquer new markets with high added value. »

The other possibility is a diversion of production capacities. Sudvin Gascogne denies this. The year was bad for the vines, almost everywhere. “We do not want to go too fast. We work on quality, time, trust and that in the long term. The question of volumes is not an obsession. The installation of Sudvin Gascogne will undoubtedly be closely followed by the Gers wine sector .

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