Authentic Forge de Laguiole- Is there a difference?

"But your competitors have them much cheaper. Why should I buy yours?"

Here at The Wine Appreciation Guild, we are often asked about the difference between our authentic Forge de Laguiole corkscrews and the many knock-offs that have recently permeated the marketplace. Here is what a Napa Valley wine shop recently wrote on the subject in their newsletter:

"Folks are often curious when "Laguiole" (pronounced lie-yole) knives and corkscrews are advertised elsewhere for as little as $25 each. If you see 'em for that price, they're knock-offs, plain and simple, made by inferior producers in neighboring towns (or even Taiwan). There's only one manufacturer of these world-famous products that can claim to be the authentic torchbearer of tradition - the Forge de Laguiole."

Additionally, the Wine Spectator ran a feature story on the village of Laguiole, France in their January 2001 edition. They commented that, thanks to the Forge, "the true Laguiole knives (have) recaptured their place as treasured collectors' items." These products are simply among the worlds finest when it comes to beauty, craftsmanship and durability. In a throwaway society, these are heirlooms you can keep for the rest of your life, then leave to your grandchildren. Accept no imitations - these are the real thing."

For years we have carried both the authentic Forge de Laguiole, as well as the similarly priced and popular Chateau Laguiole, from Thiers, France. Our returns on the Chateau Laguiole have always outpaced those of the Forge de Laguiole, so much so that, while we still sell Chateau Laguiole, we no longer list the product in our catalog. We rarely see returns on the Forge de Laguiole line, evidenced by the lifetime guarantee on the entire line of products.

Most recently, the folks in Thiers, France who make the Chateau Laguiole have been selling, through other wine accessories providers, an inexpensive version of their corkscrew with parts coming from Asia. We at The Wine Appreciation Guild had a chance to carry this inexpensive, creatively packaged corkscrew - but we turned it down. The Wine Appreciation Guild separates itself from other wine accessory providers by carrying only top quality items.

One more interesting note; the folks who make the Chateau Laguiole corkscrews brand each with a "Laguiole Bee" and urge you to look for the Bee to insure quality. The Wine Spectator article cast a light on the origin of the Bee. It turns out that in Laguiole, France, home of the authentic Forge de Laguiole corkscrew, there is a second industry: dairy cows. The dairy cows leave a natural fertilizer behind that attracts flies. The Forge de Laguiole corkscrews used to carry a stylized Fly on the corkscrew. The Chateau Laguiole chose to change the no longer used Fly of Forge de Laguiole to a Bee. To insure the highest quality corkscrew, look for the name Forge de Laguiole, made in Laguiole, France. The Bee is a wonderful marketing ploy, but does not guarantee much of anything in the way of authenticity or quality.

Be sure to accept no substitutes: Authentic Forge de Laguiole corkscrews and knives available exclusively from The Wine Appreciation Guild.

  • All Laguiole items include a certificate of authenticity, confirming them as Forge de Laguiole products.
  • All Sommelier corkscrews include distinctive red two-piece gift box and leather sheath. Wood gift boxes available for Sommelier corkscrews @ $10.00 each.
  • Customization available on most products.
  • In-store displays available for Sommeliers free-of-charge with order of four or more styles of handle.
  • Many more products may be special ordered from the factory in Laguiole, France- please inquire!