Continuing their expansion within the Loire Ackerman has just bought the Pays Nantais producer and négociant Drouet Frères, who are based in La Chapelle Heulin. In 1986 Bordeaux négociant Borie-Manoux bought a majority share in Drouet Frères, which continued to be run as a separate entity.
Drouet’s main production facility is in La Chapelle-Heulin with a capacity of 20,000 hl. This move further strengthens Ackerman’s presence in the pays Nantais. In 2009 they bought the long standing Pays Nantais company Donatien Bahuaud from Gabriel Meffre. In May 2014 they bought les Celliers du Prieuré (Valentin Fleur), which also has a presence in Muscadet.
Ackerman, whose shareholders include Alliance Loire, is now easily the largest Loire based négociant with a turnover of 90 million euros, 350 hectares of vines and a vinification capacity of 120,000 hls. Their headquarters are in Saint-Hilaire Saint-Florent, a western suburb of Saumur where a number of the Saumur sparkling wine houses are based.
Castel Frères and Grands Chais de France are the other two leading négociants in the Loire but both are based outside the Loire – in Bordeaux and Alsace respectively.