Collard family have been manufacturing equipment for the grape industry for 5 generations. Their original products were hand-forged tools for pruning, trimming and cultivation.
Located in the champagne region’s picturesque village of Bouzy, midway between the famous cities of Epernay and Reims the original premises are incorporated into a modern factory employing 45 people.
Vines had been cultivated around the village since the 6th Century and for more than 1000 years had been planted in a scattered fashion with no rows. Plant densities were at least 30,000 per Ha. With this random method vines could only be tended by hand.Andre’ Collard introduced the worlds first mechanical vine trimmer
The need for ‘modernization’ and the introduction of rows meant plant densities dropped to 9000 per Ha.
In Champagne the row spacing was set at 1.0m. With the introduction of horses it became important to trim the vines well to get horses through. Hand trimming became extremely demanding.
In the 1950’s the tractor was introduced. With the development of straddle tractors to work over the vine in the narrow rows of Champagne the total mechanization of these vineyards became possible
Andre Collard wanted to develop a tractor driven vine trimmer and in 1962 began mass producing what was the worlds first mechanical vine trimmer.
In virtually no time the company was producing models for trimming 3 and 4 rows at once. Collard trimming machines revolutionised the grape industry in France and quickly became adopted around Europe and then in every grape region in the world.
Today Collard is still a family company, with Michel’s son Yannick and daughter Corinne being the fifth generation to be involved. It remains the world leader in vine trimming machines with a range of 60 different models that are suitable for any conditions or planting pattern.
Collard is very involved in the grape industry in Champagne. As well as the manufacturing operation that employs 45 people they also have 5 sales & service branches.
From these they distribute the Bobard straddle tractors and sell the typical range of grape equipment. They regularly display at the major SITEVI exhibition.
Internationally Collard works through a network of specialist distributors and today delivers several hundred machines each year.