Henri Macquart

the Union man

Henri Macquart had a vision of the Centre Vinicole, and made it a reality. A staunch supporter of the unions, Henri Macquart is without doubt a historic player in the world of Champagne. Representing the growers at the CIVC (Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne), decorated by the French state, President of the Syndicat Général des Vignerons, France’s Growers’ Union from 1946-1960, he plays a significant role in the region’s organisational body and the cooperative movement before launching the major project to create the Centre Vinicole de la Champagne at the end of the 70s.

Henri Macquart, a true visionary, had understood for a good few years ahead that it was time for growers in Champagne to join together in order to secure sales of their grapes. The idea came to the fore with the excessive grape harvest of 1970, which created significant storage implications. A self-confessed man of the soil and with the charisma to go with it, Henri Macquart surrounds himself with a handful of cooperative growers and persuades them to create a grape storage facility.

To raise the necessary capital, he is faced not only with uniting the region’s cooperatives, but also convincing them of the long term commercial viability of the project, and ultimately, the potential return. Henri Macquart and his supporters achieve their goal in less than two years. They organise meeting after meeting to promote their cause and convince cooperative members of the interest in coming together in a single entity they can run without losing their independence.

The Centre Vinicole de Champagne is created in 1972, in the heart of the Côte des Blancs, under the initiative of an astute man who would assure its presidency until 1981 and sit on the Board as Honorary Chair until 1997.

So according to an important internal document, this is how the Centre Vinicole de la Champagne began life, always with the overriding objective of serving its members, its true founders, and in so doing, making an increasingly significant contribution to supporting the role of growers in the Champagne region.