The story of Maison Collin-Bourisset is the story of Mâcon wine merchant associations dating back to the 19th century. The first began in 1821.
And the Maison really began to flourish in the 1830s. The wines were sold more widely and began to impose their presence in Paris.
In 1862, a descendant of the original founders moved to Crêches-sur-Saône, where a trainstation had been built. The Maison continued its development.
In the 1880s, the Collin named appeared for the first time thanks to Pierre-Eugène Collin, a papermaker and merchant in Mâcon. In 1880 he moved to Crêches to take over his father-in-law’s business. On teh back of a stong reputation forged by several generations of merchants, the business was then selling its wines in Northern France and Belgium and built partnerships with other Swiss wine merchants.
Henri Collin, Pierre-Eugène’s oldest son, was ready to take over the business from his father. Following in the footsteps of his ancestors, in 1890 at a very young age he left for York, England as a merchant’s assistant, to conquer new markets.
For his part, Louis Bourisset, who came from a local family in Crêches-sur-Saône founded his own winery.
In 1902, Henri Collin had returned from England and formed a partnership with Louis Bourisset. And so Maison COLLIN & BOURISSET that we know today was formed.
Henri Collin and Louis Bourisset moved their business even closer to Crêches train station and quickly developed their exports. Henri Collin and Louis Bourisset signed up to fight in the first World War. On their return, Louis Bourisset progressively took over the company.
In 1922, he bought a vineyard in Romanèche-Thorins in the Moulin-à-Vent appellation. From 1922, Louis Bourisset was the only company director. Henri Collin had no heirs and had stepped away from the business.
Throughout the 1920s, exports flourished and Collin-Bourisset wines were sold in Belgium, the United Kingdom, au Japan, Scandinavia and even China… In 1926, Louis Bourisset exclusively received all the grapes, production and sales business from Les Hospices de Romanèche-Thorins.
At the same time at Crèches, wines were aged, stored, bottled and labelled by hand before being transported by truck, train then boat to various customers.
At the death of Louis Bourisset in 1959, his son Paul Bourisset took over the company for the next twenty years. Collin-Bourisset was then exporting to Belgium, Québec and Japan as well as Norway, Holland, Great Britain, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, the United States, Martinique, Mexico and the Ivory Coast.
In 1979, with no family menber to take over the business, Maison Jean Loron invested in the company.
After 193 wonderful years in the historic buildings at Crêches sur Saône, in 2014 a new page was written in the company’s history.
Collin-Bourisset became a partner with Maison Jean Loron and wonderful synergies were made possible. It also was a opportunity for Collin-Bourisset to become closer to the vineyards themselves.
Moulin-à-Vent des Hospices
The windmill was built near the end of 15th century on the Poncié hill, between the villages of Romanèche-Thorins and Chénas, to mill grain for the surrounding populations.
The name ” Moulin-à-Vent ” appeared around 1757.
Just before the French Revolution, «”Moulin-à-Vent” wines were already highly sought-after and the “General Almanac of Trade in France, Europe and other parts of the world” by B.C. Gournay published in Paris in 1788 recommends them by name. In 1832 in his famous book “Topography of all known vineyards followed by a general wine classification”, oenologist A. Julien ranks Moulin-à-Vent as “first class”.
The reputation of Moulin-à-Vent wines continued to grow and to avoid fraud, the “Moulin-à-Vent” area was definitively allocated and its limits specified in 1924.
It became the first demarcated area in Beaujolais, a dozen years before the creation of Protected Designations of Origin (PDO/AOP).
It was recognised by the National Institute of Origin and Quality (INAO) as a designation protected by decree of 11th september 1936.
Built at the start of the 20th century, the Hospices de Romanèche-Thorins were a refuge for the village’s poor and destitute. In exchange for care, the elderly and patients occasionally bequeathed plots of vines to the Hospices and, over a few years, this represented an area of over 6 hectares.
In 1924, aware of the wealth of its vineyards, the Hospices’ administration auctioned the harvest which became widely famous.
Until that time, the Hospices Civils de Romanèche-Thorins sold wine in barrels at public auctions. For the first time, and thanks to Louis Bourisset, the wine was bottled. Every year, his successors renewed the winemaking contracts with the Hospices and the maiosn progressively acquired all of the vineyards belonging to the Hospices’ estate.