The modern day Confrerie des Vignerons de Saint Vincent was founded some 50 years ago, to renew the customers and traditions of the centuries old wine brotherhoods of the Maconnais. The Brotherhood of St. Vincent is dedicated to an unswerving objective: to promote, at home and abroad, the fine wines, white and red, of the Maconnais vineyard region.
Following is the history of the state of the Confrerie des Vignerons de St. Vincent Macon in the United States as noted by Georges Marie-Victoire, Consul General U.S.A; November 2007:
The Societe Internationale des Confreries Bacchiques, the “International Society of Wine Brotherhoods,” was holding its international meeting in San Francisco in 1972. Mr. Maurice Charnay, then Grand Maitre in Macon of the Confrerie de Vignerons de St. Vincent Macon, attended this event with a group of vignerons from Macon. He helped as much as he could, as he had been initiated into the Confrerie a few years back in Macon.
The meeting went very well, and Mr. Charnay very casually, mentioned that he should find all the members of the Confrerie des Vignerons de St. Vincent Macon living in the Bay Area and have a get together. He requested a list, which was mailed to him with only names and “City”.
Most of the names were from the Sacramento area. So he went to work and in 1973 was able to have a nice group to celebrate the vintage and the luck of getting together. So the members from Sacramento played a tremendous role in getting us started and he will ever be grateful to them.
The first meeting of the Consulate General in the U.S.A. took place in January 1974, at the Alliance Francaise building in San Francisco, followed by a good dinner and a Ban Bourguignon. Several new members were initiated at this time and Georges was given the title of Consul General of the Western United States. Later as the group spread across the United States, the Grand Maitre awarded him the title of Consul General, U.S.A.
Nine chapters had been formed in the USA since the start- all enjoying the good wines of the Macon and the culinary wonders of the area.
The first chapter started in Honolulu on October 11, 1974. Between 1974 and 1997 chapters were also formed in Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta, Portland, Seattle, Kansas City, So. Cal, and Milwaukee. The San Francisco chapter was formed in January of 1974.
A new Consul General, Roland Barakett, was initiated in July of 2008.
Consul General Roland Barakett writes:
For the past few years we have seen an unfortunate attrition of seven chapters. We try to identify the reasons and come up with the following possibilities: Aging of the original members; lack of interest of the remaining members; difficulty to recruit young people; competition from many other wine societies. It appears that the responsibility to continue the tradition and culture eludes those regions.
Now we have three remaining active US Chapters: Honolulu, Portland and San Francisco. These remaining three Chapters are thriving and are going strong in continuing the mission and objectives of our organization.