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French Coopers Met Abroad for the First Time and Came Back Thrilled About Their Conference in Napa


Paris – February 12, 2019 – Fédération des Tonneliers de France members (French coopers) met in Napa, California on February 1, 2019.

The Annual Meeting gave each Committee Chair the opportunity to provide an update on ongoing and upcoming work. Notably, this includes work on technical issues for preventing contamination risks and developing systems for detection, and on workforce issues for strengthening training and handing down expertise, especially to help deal with manpower shortages.

French and American Conference partners* met with other professionals at a luncheon.

Then participants attended conference presentations. Olivier Casier, Cooperage Business Director at Monnot SA, discussed the latest innovations from this company which specializes in the manufacture of cooperage machines. François Lalut, chairman and CEO of CITF, gave a presentation about the company’s robotics solutions for material handling. Marco DiGiulio, Executive Vice President of Vintage Wine Estates, talked about new wood in the maturing of American wines and discussed future perspectives. The discussion highlighted how wine matured in wooden barrels is an unquestionable guarantee of superior quality for American consumers. Last, Susan Durbrow, California Wineries Sales Manager at Riedel, invited participants on a journey of senses for a tasting to measure to what degree the shape of a glass influences our perception and enjoyment of wine.  

An evening gala at the prestigious Robert Mondavi Winery ended the very special day for the French cooperage industry. “I’m delighted we were able to meet here in a place that is so symbolic for our profession,” said Jean Luc Sylvain, President of the Fédération des Tonneliers de France. “Some 50 years ago, a few daring coopers crossed the Atlantic and boldly marketed their products to American winemakers. Robert Mondavi was one of the first to bet on maturing wine in French oak barrels to upmarket his wines. Today, the United States continues to be our biggest export market and represents one-third of our business.”

* Conference partners: AscendantFX – Balguerie – CITF – Dugelay Affût’ – Emballages Valadié – ETS Laboratories – H&A – Hoyt Shepston & Sciaroni – Laboratoire Sarco – Laboratoires Dubernet – Lataste-Rochereau – Meiser – Monnot – Napa Barrel Repair – Orion Warehousing Services – Scott Laboratories – The Oak Lab – Perfect Delivery Logistic Services – Röhlig – Tallet – Tonnelage Gilles Berthomieu – Vectœur – Wine Business Monthly

 About the Fédération des Tonneliers de France:

The Fédération des Tonneliers de France brings together 53 businesses located in the leading wine regions of France. In 2017, these businesses produced 615,385 units, accounting for sales of 429 million euros. 68% of this production was exported, mainly to the United States, Spain, Australia, and Italy. French cooperages continue to be a standard and world leader because of the quality of the raw material used and the expertise evidenced through a combination of ancestral craft skills and highly innovative techniques.

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