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Value-Added Agriculture and Agri-tourism Case Study: Abbaye de Valmagne, Farm-Auberge

Abbaye de Valmagne

For more information on the Abbaye de Valmagne, please visit www.valmagne.com.


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By Autumn Gear

Michigan State University

Powerpoint Presentation Outline:
Value-Added Agriculture and Agri-tourism Case Study: Abbaye de Valmagne, Farm-Auberge

Purpose of Study

…to generate an understanding of how value-added agriculture and tourism are implemented in a French farm-auberge in order to inspire the creation of similar establishments in Michigan…

Abbaye de Valmagne
Timeline

• 1139 — Founded
• 1790 — Last practicing monks fled
   • Church converted into a wine cellar
• 1838 — Purchased by the Count de Turenne
• 1975 — Doors open to the public

• Today — Operations conducted by the descendents of the Count de Turenne

Abbaye de Valmagne
Agriculture

• Onsite wine cultivation and processing
• 75 hectares
  — 30 hectares Controlled Area of Origin
    (1 hectare = 2.471 acres)
Agriculture Biologique (Organic) certification
  — 2011 – all wines
• Global sales

Abbaye de Valmagne
Effects of Organic Wine Production

Farm-Auberge
Description

• Agricultural entity
• Restaurant serving farm products
  — Organic not required
• Service in a natural setting
• Promotes local agri-tourism

Farm-Auberge
Operations

• Family-friendly food service
  — Daily lunch, evening reservations, special events

• Wine sales
  — Direct sales
   • Add value
   • Create profit

Farm-Auberge
Wine Sales

Farm-Auberge
Development

• Create proposal
  — Tourism board critique
  — Exam
  — Must satisfy region’s regulatory bodies

• Follow regulations
  — Historical monument
  — Restaurant
  — Farm-auberge
  — Accessibility
  — Organic
More hindrance than help

Farm-Auberge
Marketing

• Limited media promotion
  — Internet
  — Road signs
• Emphasis on Networking
  — Connecting local farms
  — Word-of-mouth advertising
   • 80% of new guests

Farm-Auberge
Catering to the Public

French Trends:
• Enjoy nature
• Slow down
• Experience the farm; Live in the city

Auberge Characteristics:
• Outdoor dining
  — Vegetable garden
  — Canal
• Rustic building style
• Decreased service speed
• Emphasis on food and wine
  — Quality (Organic)
  — Origin

Farm-Auberge
Challenges

• Following regulations
• Kitchen harmony
• Overall organization
• Time
• Stress

Farm-Auberge
Future Prospects

Farm-Auberge in Michigan

• Key Requirements
  — Working farm
  — Desire to promote local agriculture
  — Knowledgeable or learned proprietors
  — Strong organization
  — Efficient kitchen
  — Patience

For more information on the Abbaye de Valmagne, please visit www.valmagne.com