CONFRERIE
DES
FINS GOUSIERS D'ANJOU

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The Fraternity of Fins Gousiers d’Anjou

History of the Fraternity

History of the Fraternity The "Confrérie des Fins Gousiers d’Anjou” or “Fraternity of Fine Wine and Food of Anjou” is an organisation based in the Loire Valley in Western France. It is one of the most active ambassadors for French agricultural products, in particular for the great wines produced in the Anjou region.
Based on an old tradition, the Fraternity was founded and rebuilt at the end of the 1940s. It gained official recognition in 1952 and was registered with the Parisian Authorities on 30th September 1953 under the name of “La Confrérie des Fins Gousiers es Cabernet”.
Its creation arose from an arranged marriage of two fervent desires: for the winegrowers of Anjou to find a market for their product and for wine connoisseurs to find wine of excellent quality. In fact, the Fraternity’s first two objectives were:

  • to promote CABERNET wines and all wines originating from our lovely province of Anjou
  • to bring together lovers of Cabernet and Anjou wines.

History of the Fraternity Their ultimate goal was to foster and maintain good relationships between wine producers and wine lovers.
For the past 60 years, the Fraternity has continued to expand its role as a promoter and builder of relationships through numerous outings and events. It currently organises "chapters", official ceremonies where the title of Knight of the Fins Gousiers d’Anjou is awarded to new members. The organisation now has 2000 active members who come from all parts of France and from all over the world. “Convivality”- eating, drinking and good company - is still of paramount importance, as love of wine goes hand in hand with love of fine food. Wherever the opportunity presents itself, the Fins Gousiers love to demonstrate how the wines of Anjou can complement a particular dish or speciality.
The headquarters of the Fraternity are located in the Vine and Wine Museum (Musée de la Vigne et du Vin) in the town of Saint Lambert du Lattaye at the heart of Anjou. The museum has been designated a National Museum in France. Its collection of over 2000 tools and objects retraces the history of the grape and wine in Anjou-Saumur.

About the fraternity

The Docte Collège There are 35 members in the “Docte collège” or upper council, supported by the Knights of Fins Gousiers who themselves are admitted to the Fraternity as part of an induction ceremony. They are therefore entitled to wear the famous red and gold mantle and carry the "taste-vin", or silver wine-tasting cup.
The Fraternity is presided over by the Grand Master and his Deputy Grand Masters.
The Fraternity has always celebrated the feast of Saint Vincent, the patron saint of wine growers, with the greatest possible dignity. This celebration is held on the Sunday closest to the saint’s feast day, the 22 January, in a wine-growing area specially decorated for the occasion. The old traditions are maintained with breakfast followed by Mass, a parade, the induction ceremony and lunch with music, rounded off with a serving of onion soup.
Each year the Fraternity also celebrates the start of the grape harvest by organising an event at the beginning of September.
It also attends the annual Festival of Wines of Anjou which takes place on the last weekend of February in the town of Chalonnes sur Loire, which is twinned with the town of Ballinasloe.
During the last 20 years of exchanges between the twin-towns, lasting friendships have been forged, in particular during organised trips as part of festivals in both towns: The Ballinasloe Horse Fair and the Wine Festival in Chalonnes sur Loire.
It was in this context that the idea of organising a trip by the Fraternity to Ireland was arrived at, in the hope of building new relationships and to promote our Anjou wine.

There are 29 appellations for the wines of Anjou.

Rows of vinyards in summer Dry white fruity wines, such as the Savennières are made exclusively from the Chenin grape. Of these, La Roche-aux-Moines and la Coulée de Serrant have been classified among the best wines in the world. The white wines of Anjou product with the Chenin grape are the Saumurs, Anjou Coteaux de Loire, Coteaux du Layon et Coteaux du Layon Villages, Bonnezeaux, Les Quarts de Chaume, Les Chaume 1er cru, les Coteaux de Saumur, les Coteaux de l’Aubance. The area product also lot of great Sauvignon and Chardonnay
The red wines are ruby in colour with soft fruit notes: les Anjou Gamay, les Anjou, les Anjou-Villages, les Anjou-Villages Brissac, les Saumur.
The rosé wines are light and aromatic including the Rosé d’Anjou, Cabernet d’Anjou, Rosé de Loire, Cabernet de Saumur.
And finally there are the fine bubblies, such as the Saumur bruts and Crémants de Loire.
As part of your visit in Anjou area, we invite you to take this opportunity to discover some of these wines and also to meet the winegrowers. They are all passionate about our region, our vinyards and our wine.
They will invite you to taste their wines in four stages: With the eye, the nose, the mouth and the tongue. Why the tongue? One of the joys of wine tasting is first the discussion that accompanies it. In vino véritas! “In wine there is truth” according to the ancient wisdom! Rabelais, a famous French Renaissance writer, was indeed right when he said that: “Wine clears the mind, pacifies anger, banishes sorrow and brings joy and jubliation”!
Rows of vinyards in winter This is a brief overview of what would facilitate our trip. But we are also happy to make any changes that you require.

We have no specific business target in mind as part of our visit. The primary motiviation for the visit is to promote the wines of Anjou, to increase awareness of the wine growing customs and traditions of the Loire valley and to try the delicious Galway oysters.
The Fraternity will award the two persons who are inducted with the collar of the Fins Gousiers, a large (75cl - enough for one bottle) wine glass from Anjou and an official certificate.
You may also hear the song known worldwide by the Fraternity and join in with the members of the upper council when they sing the chorus "Verre en haut, Verre en bas" (Raise your glass, Lower your glass).

Trip to Ireland

Kinlay Galway In a few weeks time, le Docte collège (Upper Council) will travel to Ireland with the purpose of promoting both Anjou wines and the Wine Festival in Chalonnes sur Loire. 38 people will travel as part of the delegation. 14 members of the Upper Council and 7 knights wearing their ceremonial cloaks will be accompanied by 2 trumpeters from the Fraternity, when they parade through the streets of Galway on Sunday 30th September.

4 chapters will be held over the course of their stay. The first will be held in Claregalway Castle on Friday evening, the second at Ballinasloe Horse Fair on Saturday, followed by a chapter as part of the Galway Oyster Festival on Sunday morning and the final chapter will take place in the famous Moran’s Oyster Cottage restaurant in Clarinbridge on Sunday evening.

Here is a little taster of the sites that we will be visiting throughout this trip.

Editorial Board: Deputy Grand Master Dominique PAIROCHON, Sylvia RAYAN, Alan FARRELL


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