Saint Emilion, a medieval village listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, is famous around the world thanks to its prestigious appellations and great wines. The town's beautiful architecture embodies a long history in which men and women have always sought to preserve their unique identity.
One of them, Robert Villepigue – an agricultural engineer from Saint Emilion – managed Château Figeac from 1905 to 1928 and later acquired Château Cadet Piolat. Robert Villepigue came up with the idea, very innovative in Bordeaux at the time, of establishing a cooperative cellar in Saint Emilion. So, during the 1930s economic crisis, he brought together 6 winegrowers to create the Saint Emilion cooperative. The project became reality in 1931, and the first cooperative in Bordeaux made their first wine in 1932. The cellar's main role was to unite several vineyard estates in order to share the means of production, winemaking, and sales – mostly in bulk.
In 1966, the cellar was recognized as an Organization of Producers with members in the 8 communes comprising the Appellation dOrigine Contrôlée (AOC) "Saint Emilion": Saint Emilion, Saint-Christophe-des-Bardes, Saint-Etienne-de-Lisse, Saint-Hippolyte, Saint-Laurent-des-Combes, Saint-Pey-dArmens, Vignonet, and Saint-Sulpice-de-Faleyrens. Today, the Union de Producteurs represents slightly more than 12% of the entire Saint Emilion AOC.
Over the years, the Union de Producteurs de Saint Emilion has worked hard to perfect the quality of their wines, as evidenced by the certifications they have obtained: ISO 9001 version 2000, AgriConfiance, IFS (International Food Standard), and BRC (British Retail Consortium). More recently, in 2011, the cellar was a precursor in integrating an EMS (Enivronmental Management System) association in Bordeaux that was certified for the ISO 14001 standard. Finally, since july 2015, the Union de Producteurs de Saint-Emilion is certified AEO-Full by customs authorities.