Association | History
The History of the Winery Association
At the end of the 19th century South Tyrolís wine growers found themselves in a very difficult position.
The wine traders had full control of the export market, and high import levies, increased export duties and above all ever stronger competition resulted in the price of grapes falling through the floor. These economic difficulties and uncertainty as to whether the grapes would be bought by private wineries were the main reasons for the cooperatives being founded at that time.
As early as 1900, 7 South Tyrolean cooperatives had tried to achieve a fair price for their wine through direct marketing and to pass on the proceeds to their members. However, the strong competition from the numerous private traders resulted in the failure of that enterprise.
In order to try to better represent their own interests the 7 cooperatives came together to form the Winery Cooperatives of German South Tyrol on 11th December 1900. Alongside the joint representation of their interests, marketing assistance and building up the image of the cooperativesí wines took centre stage.
For over 100 years, solidarity and mutuality - the basic values of the cooperative philosophy - have enabled the association to overcome many difficult times. Over time the individual cooperatives developed into modern and successful wineries that have played a significant role in the upturn in the South Tyrolean wine industry.
In tandem, the associationís responsibilities have also changed over the years. Marketing has been left more and more to the individual wineries, while the association is now predominantly involved in providing legal advice, representing the membersí interests and developing the image of the collectives.