Ackerman and the Sparkling Wine from Saumur: a local winemaking innovation and his consequences on the industrial development of a rural territory around the middle of the 19thcentury

Abstract :

At the exposition of Angers Industrial Society of 1838, a wine merchant born in Brussels but living the West France, Jean Baptiste Ackerman, submit to general prize his wine “de mousse” from Saumur. After all the exams from the oenological committee, he wins a gold medal for his 1836 cuvee. The innovation is identified as well as “champagne wine”.Jean Baptiste Ackerman created new product, the sparkling wine from Saumur, by the development of an innovating winemaking process, called “traditional method from Saumur”, at the crossroads of basics winemakers knowledge and industrial production and techniques. In addition of a Family Business History spending from 1838 when the industrial production is launched to the death of his son and heir in 1914, the industrial production of sparkling wine by Ackerman (Brut, Dry or Dry Royal) give a new wine identity to a rural territory living on the agricultural fret products on the Loire and the military cavalry basements.

The agricultural as well as industrial Saumur sectors find in these new winemaking process new economic and commercial opportunities. Anjou and Saumur wines, historically appreciated in England and Holland markets, can pretends to touch a larger and richer market than they used to. Fast, other entrepreneurs employed the industrial winemaking Ackerman’s process and are settled in the caves troglodytes near to Ackerman’s own factory. A local industrial sector is building to produce sparkling wine from Saumur under many competing brands: Bouvet-Ladubay, Veuve Amiot, Langlois & Château are some associated family’s names and brands created in the 19th century. The Ackerman’s innovation changed deeply the economic, social and commercial identities of a rural city but also natural landscapes turned to the wine production to “champagne” winemaking.

The issue that Ackerman’s sparkling wine story raises is the impact of the circulation of winemaking process and skills on the development of a rural territory and the benefits of the Ackerman winemaking innovation on Saumur terroir. Based on the Ackerman’s archives (140 linear meters) and archives about economics, industrials, trade and wine productions at local and regional scales, this communication will propose to explain in a first part the influence of the merchant identity and mobility of Ackerman through some wine-making regions explain the origins of his product and process innovations in Saumur between 1815 and 1865. In a second part, we will examine the role of the Saumur terroir and the role of the local merchants and the economic notability in the Ackerman innovation enterprise on the same period. Finally, we will analyse some benefits or inconveniences to Saumur of Ackerman’s innovations and the consequences of the sparkling wine production in the landscape and terroir of Saumur from 1838 to 1914.

The Ackerman’s history under the family direction, Jean Baptiste then his son, from the first half 18th century to 1914 is actually the subject of a PhD thesis associate Maison Ackerman, the University of Angers and the ANRT (National Agency for Research and Technology).

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Submitted on : Wednesday, June 27, 2018 - 2:10:18 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, December 19, 2018 - 2:14:01 PM


  • HAL Id : hal-01824612, version 1
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Valentin Taveau. Ackerman and the Sparkling Wine from Saumur: a local winemaking innovation and his consequences on the industrial development of a rural territory around the middle of the 19thcentury. European Rural History Congress, 2017, Leuven, Belgium. ⟨hal-01824612⟩



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