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Association of wine producers to market with the goal of using shared resources to process the produced grapes and the wine and thus ability to gain the effect of large companies. In most cases, these operate his own winery. But there are also large co-operative cellars, working for several other cooperatives without its own winery. One of the most important of these is the huge " Baden wine cellar "Breisach in the German region of Baden (Germany) , which ranks among the largest in Europe. The origins of such associations are in the early 19th Century, brought as the profound economic and political changes of the early industrial era, countless European winery in bitter need. The liberal economic policy was met by a non-organized, and in many wine regions are also professionally trained winemakers deficient state.
The situation was exacerbated by cheap bulk wines from wineries large, growing Wine adulteration (Pantschereien) as well as highlight the problems of the occurrence of introduced from America phylloxera and the two fungal diseases, true and false mildew in the second half of the 19th Century. By the total destruction of crops caused by these plagues occurred in Central Europe to the emigration of many thousands of winemakers. The dependence of the small growers of the bulk wine merchants, and the resulting social unrest led to the creation of many cooperatives. Already in 1852 it was founded by four wine clubs on the Mosel, which at that time were already wearing the name "wine cooperative." The company failed after a short time. Really sat down, the cooperative idea in the late 19th Century through. The majority of today's cooperatives emerged in the 1930s with the aftereffects of the Great Depression.
The largest wine cooperatives are represented in those areas where the average individual Weinbergsbesitzungen with often less than one to a few hectares of vines is very small and the sale prices are low, and last but not least, where there are high EU subsidies. In France account for more than half of production at Caves CoopÃ©ratives and early 1990s there were more than a thousand of them. They are especially common in the southern wine-growing regions of Languedoc-Roussillon , Provence and the Rhone , and on Corsica . Also in Italy (1,000), Spain (1,000) and Portugal (300), the cooperatives with at least more than 50% have a high share of production.
The oldest existing cooperative in Germany is the "flat-Mayschoss Altenahr" in today's growing region Ahr , which was established in 1868 under the name "Winzerverein Mayschoss in the Ahr." As of 2004, there were a total of 231 cooperatives (including 137 with its own wine cellar) with 58,000 members from a total of about 70,000 German wine growers who farm more than 31,000 of a total of 100,000 hectares. This produced approximately 2, 7 million hectoliters of wine, which accounts for about one-third of Germany's total. Have the highest share of production cooperatives in the Ahr , Baden (Germany) , Palatine , Saale-Unstrut and WÃ¼rttemberg .
In Austria , with around 250 members and 420 hectares of vineyards, Winzer Krems (Krems Valley) with 1,200 members and 900 hectares of vineyards, and wine cellar Neckenmarkt (Central Burgenland) with 300 members and 300 hectares of vineyards. In the United States the cooperative idea is not as pronounced. Of particular importance, however, WG played in South Africa , where the KWV Has (Vereniging van Zuid Kooperatiewe Wijnbowers Africa) played almost 100 years, an extremely dominant role. Cooperatives are in many countries as a producer within the meaning of the Wine Act.