Josy Gloden, President of Vinsmoselle, had every reason to rejoice on returning home from the National Competition for Crémant Wines from France and Luxembourg, which was held in Die, home to Clairette, at the foot of the Alps. The Poll-Fabaire crémants came away with eight gold medals.
Luxembourg crémants were awarded 27 medals, including 21 gold medals, at the National Competition for Crémant Wines from France and Luxembourg, in Die. Your cooperative winery alone was awarded gold eight times: so is it mission accomplished?
Josy Gloden: Yes, you could say that! We’re really satisfied with these results. What was especially gratifying in Die was every day to see just how much people enjoyed our Luxembourg crémants. All the presidents from the other regions came to us to taste them and they were very complimentary. This shows that we compare well to our French colleagues.
And how do you judge Luxembourg crémants – and not just your own – compared with French crémants?
We’re lucky enough to have great terroirs for Pinots which is what we often use to make the best crémants. Even Alsace, although it has things in common with us, cannot copy us. Because of global warming, they’re no longer able to produce crémants that are as fresh and fruity as ours.
For Domaines Vinsmoselle crémant is extremely important – to what extent?
Around three million bottles are produced in the Moselle, of which approximately half are Poll-Fabaire, which accounts for much of our volume and a quarter of our turnover. What’s more, we release the same quantity of bottles each year. This means that whenever the harvest is small, we use our stock of still wines to make crémant. It’s a buoyant market and crémant is our priority.
Everyone wants to sell their wine in Luxembourg as it’s a country with high purchasing power
Since 1991 when the Crémant de Luxembourg appellation was created, there has been a spectacular increase in sales. However, for a few years now the market seems to be stagnating. Does this worry you?
You have to innovate, which is what we’ve always done! Growth isn’t the same as it was ten years ago, that’s true, but then there was a virgin market to be developed and we’ve no doubt reached a certain limit here in our own country. Having said this, I do believe that there’s still room for expansion in Luxembourg, particularly by appealing to foreign residents. But now it’s definitely time to find new openings outside Luxembourg.
Could Vinsmoselle produce even more crémant?
Yes, the base wines are there and the infrastructure too. In Die, at the General Assembly for producer regions, there was confirmation that bubbles are the current craze. If a new market opens up, we’ll be able to get in there. For the time being, we export to Belgium, Germany is starting up and France takes only small volumes. We are starting off with the United Kingdom, Finland and the United States. We’re getting good feedback: we’re not twiddling our thumbs!
Sometimes you get the impression that there’s a category of consumers that isn’t easily won over by crémant…
I think it’s more that many consumers just don’t know it. Sometimes there are even some Luxembourgers who prefer more expensive wines and who don’t really know it either… But we also drink champagne! We’ve got to win people over at all levels and keep winning them over. And we most certainly must not tell ourselves that everything is going fine and that we’ve got the market stitched up for good. Everyone wants to sell their wine in Luxembourg as it’s a country with high purchasing power, so we know that competition is fierce. But we have every reason to be confident: the Moselle works really well, our wines are good – which means we’re holding all the cards!