The cooperation sprang up in Ribeauvillé
In 1885 Alsace was annexed to the German Reich. Cut off from France and its wine connoisseurs the vineyards of Ribeauvillé were sadly neglected. It was a group of winegrowers who then decided to group together and they founded the cooperative based on the ideas of German sociologist Frédéric Raiffeisen and named it Rappoltsweller Winzerverein.
The principle was simple
Each member had to bring all his harvest to the cooperative and in exchange was paid fairly. Skilled workers were in charge of the winemaking and bottling, a sales force found outlets for the wine and an administrative body took care of production and selling. Everything was placed under the direct control of the winegrowers who formed a board of directors.
A deep-rooted tradition
The vineyards of Ribeauvillé have been here since the beginning of time. It were the Lords of Ribeaupierre and the Benedictine monks who first made use of the natural resources with its south facing slopes and different topsoils. It is believed that the knight-monk Martin Zahn returning from the Crusades played a major role in the creation of “Clos du Zahnacker”.
Since then, nothing has changed
Despite all the upheaval in the history of this part of France since 1895, the Cave de Ribeauvillé has managed to preserve its spirit of solidarity and efficiency. From generation to generation, from one year ‘s wine production to the next, the temptation for independence of growers make their own wine has been omnipresent. But finally no-one, since the founding of the cooperative, has wanted to change.