As with all cooperatives, the NYONS cooperative plays a key role in the collection and processing of agricultural produce within its zone of production.
Historically, it was the olive growers in 1923 who grouped together to develop a communal means of production and who created an oil mill and a canning plant for olives;
These producers also grew grapes and so the wine producing activities were created in 1925.
The cooperative of Nyonsais has 2 wine making sites:
- 1 at Nyons for the following wines: CDR Villages, CDR and IGP, which account for approximately 50,000 hectilitres of production annually;
- And 1 on the commune of Les Pilles, exclusively for the production of wines from the Baronnies particularly for grape varieties chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, syrah… and with annual production of around 15,000 hectilitres.
The land around Nyonsais and the Baronnies is rugged and the vines are planted on the numerous mountain-sides of the Pre-Alps.
The particular climate for this region, which among other ensures the maturity of the famous black olives of Nyons, also ensures that the grapes are of very high quality for the production of a rich and varied range of wines.
The equipment at the 2 cellars has the most up to date technology (vats in stainless steel with self-regulation and automated decanting) whilst maintaining traditional methods.
The wine making techniques used make it possible to offer very specific selections in terms of grape varieties, designation… and to obtain wines that are fruity and very drinkable or wines for keeping and therefore offer a wide variety of wines in bottles and in boxes for the general connoisseur.
The cooperative of Nyonsais is the leading producer of AOC Nyons olives and olive oils;
It gathers the produce from around 110,000 olive groves out of a designated area of 260,000.
The technical equipment is among the most modern and efficient in France and the Cooperative of Nyonsais is the only French mill to have IFS accreditation (International Food Standard).
The capacity for receiving and processing olives is large (up to 70 tons per day).
The olives are delivered at the end of the day after gathering, removal of leaves and stalks and washing, then they are graded in size.
The grading machine has a capacity of 10 tons/hour and separates the largest olives which are destined for preserving and for the table, the smaller ones being destined for the production of olive oil.
The olives for preserving are stored in 300kg vats that are filled with salt water where any bitterness is removed prior to packaging.
The cooperative has 1200 storage vats that are kept in an air-conditioned room.
The mill at the cooperative of Nyonsais is a continuous mill with grinder, 6 mixing vats with capacity of 1000kg each, a centrifugal decantor to separate the oil from the fruit and a centrifuge to separate the water from the oil; the process is controlled by a computer and the different stages of processing are programmed and recorded.
The production process is performed by cold pressing (less than 27°C to preserve the vitamins and flavour); the result is 5,000kg of olives per hour. The oils are stored in stainless steel vats in air-tight conditions (under neutral gas) and in an air-conditioned room. Our storages capacity for oil is 250 tons.
The packaging of the oils and olives is undertaken on site with our own packaging , materials:
- for olives: in plastic bag , glass jars or brine.
- for oils: in glass bottles or Bag in Box.
The frosts of 1929 and 1956 transformed the local agriculture which was based on olive groves and additional vine growing, to one dominant in wine production, with much reduced production of olives and the development of fruit growing (apricots in particular) and, from 1930, the cooperative opened a fruit processing operation in addition to wine producing and olive growing.
The wine and olive growing activities require significant investment in terms of production methods, storage and packaging (and which are only used in the main for 1 or 2 months a year during the harvests) whereas for the fruit side of the business we have been members of RHODACOOP for the past 6 years which packages and sells our fruit production and which limits our compliance activities to their refrigeration before being transported to the packaging site.
Mainly apricots, of the very tasty “ORANGER DE PROVENCE” variety, and also quince, plums, cherries…