The Valette-Pariente family sells Château Troplong-Mondot
The waltz of summer transactions gets off to a good start with the sale of Château Troplong-Mondot to the French insurer Scor. The amount of the contract, signed on 6th July 2017, was not disclosed. According to the magazine Decanter the sale price reaches €5 million per hectare, but other sources suggest that Scor has spent a lot more. By the way, this grand cru classified B in Saint- Emilion was founded in the XVIIIth century by the de Sèze family. This château owes its reputation to Romain de Sèze, one of Louis XVI’s lawyers during his trial before the Convention in 1792. Afterwards, the château which was called Mondot was bought by the Troplong family in the XIXth century which added its name to the property. The latter will be bought by the Pariente family in 1934. Christine Valette-Pariente (who died in 2014) was very successful in taking care of this grand cru in recent years, since its 2005 vintage obtained a 100/100 by American taster Robert Parker. With its 29 hectares of vines, the château is considered like one of the greatest in Saint-Emilion. By purchasing Château Troplong-Mondot, the insurer is now at the head of a 100,000-bottle annual production, guest rooms and the very popular Michelin-starred restaurant Les belles perdrix.
Château Fonroque sold to Compagnie Européenne de Prévoyance
Along the same lines, Château Fonroque, also a classified Saint-Emilion, announced early August that it was bought by Hubert Guillard, founding CEO of Compagnie Européenne de Prévoyance. For a first vineyard purchase, the latter can boast being now at the head of more than 17 hectares of vines, converted into organic in 2006 and certified biodynamic in 2008, and an annual production of 100,000 bottles. Alain Moueix, former owner of the château, agricultural engineer and oenologist, thoroughly triggered the change of philosophy of production methods. This figure of biodynamics from the Gironde will thus stay consultant for his ex- property.
The Italian alcohol brand Campari has sold Château de Sancerre
July was really a very busy month. Indeed, in the Loire, the rumor troubling local wine actors was confirmed. Château de Sancerre was bought by the wine merchant Ackerman from the Italian alcohol brand Campari for more than €20 million. The new purchaser, specializing in sparkling wines, is continuing its new portfolio consolidation strategy with still wines. It is now at the head of 55 hectares of vines, an annual production of 450,000 bottles and €3.5 million revenue. The merchants who previously bought Drouet-Frères (Muscadet), the vineyards of Jean-Paul Couamais (Vouvray), Celliers du Prieuré and the Beaujeau domains (Anjour), Pressoirs de France (Saumur) will certainly not stop there. Other acquisitions could follow in the Loire…
Château Canon acquires Château Berliquet
On 25th July, Château Canon, classified Saint-Emilion and owned by haute couture group Chanel, bought its neighbour, Château Berliquet, another classified grand cru. Located between the châteaux Canon and Belair-Monange, the Château Berliquet spreads over 9 hectares mostly Merlot (70%), Cabernet-Franc (25%) and Cabernet-Sauvignon (5%). Nicolas Audebert is head of operations, already winemaker and director of Château Canon and Rauzan-Ségla.
Georges Lucas, Star Wars producer, acquires Château Margüi
In the south of France, this news put the Var vineyard under the spotlight a few days ago. And yet, this transaction was very secret. Star Wars’ world-famous director, Georges Lucas, bought Château Margüi. In the heart of the Var, in the village of Châteauvert, this château covers 100 hectares, including 15 organic-certified vines. Unlike Hubert Guillard, it is not Georges Lucas’ first vineyard purchase, since he already owns tens of hectares in Italy and the United States. If some fear paparazzi, others are happy with the idea of perhaps getting a job (Georges Lucas has promised to create fifteen jobs) and attract people in this unfortunately-deserted inland region.
A few rumours around Phélan-Ségur…
At the heart of cheerful news, other rumours thrill Bordeaux wine sphere. It has been heard since the beginning of August that Château Phélan-Ségur, Saint-Estèphe cru bourgeois, was sold in June to Philippe Van de Vyvere, owner of one of the biggest European transportation companies. This property of 70 hectares belongs to the Gardinier family since 1985 and is managed by the three brothers Thierry, Laurent and Stéphane since the end of the 1990s. For the moment, the information has not been confirmed, so no details are available. Watch this space. Although, it is still quite sad to see the Garnier family withdraw from wine to focus on its gastronomy businesses. They will nevertheless maintain a foothold in the wine industry through their haute couture sales business, with the Caves Taillevent and its restaurants Les 110 de Taillevent.
… and Pierre Gattaz
Is Pierre Gattaz already preparing his career change after being president of the Medef, the largest employer federation in France (he will not run for the post)? The rumours spread by Canard enchaîné say that he is about to buy a domain in the Lubéron, Château de Sannes, to produce organic wine. A nice career change for the boss of a company operating in the field of electronic components.
Decidedly, after the purchase by Guigal of Domaine de Nalys and the acquisition by Jadot of a domain in Santenay, the mercato is busily continuing in the wine industry. To be continued…
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