Sunday, 20 March 2011

Chinese buying Bordeaux vineyards

What started as a trickle might turn in to a full on flow! In the past 12 months at least 3 Chateaux in Bordeaux have changed hands to Chinese buyers.
The emphasis seems to be that it is better to control the production at source rather than just buying through the established trade.
This is excellent for the Bordeaux region as any inward investors should be welcome. The Irish, Scottish, Americans and English have very strong links with Bordeaux and have either owned or currently own many top Chateaux.

My only slight hesitation is that this latest purchase of Chateau Laulan Ducos by Richard Shen Donjun (a Chinese diamond tycoon) has revealed that Mr Shen plans to stop selling the estate's wines in all markets and solely supply wine to China. This would not be great for established markets and is a worrying trend if we suddenly see Cru Bourgeois wines or Cru Classe wines disappear.
This was reported in the Sunday Telegraph today but more extensively written about on Alex Hall's excellent website Vineyard Intelligence a while ago. This proves the world of blogs and tweets is some way ahead of the old style newspapers!
The question is who will sell next to the Chinese? Will a more well known Cru Classe estate entertain the wealthy people from the East? We shall see.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Bella Wines 12,000 page views. Good or bad?

I have been writing this occasional blog for a couple of years now. The focus is clearly on wine and wine tourism. This is a good window to see what is happening with Bella Wines and also Bella Wine Tours or for me to communicate future events. However I need and value a bit of feedback from time to time. What do you think?
Do you have suggestions for what you want to see or read?

Bella Wines Ltd is a UK registered company that I started over 13 years ago. We have worked closely with wineries from Australia, South Africa, Bordeaux, Rhone and the Languedoc Roussillon in order to introduce exciting wines to markets. We sell wine in the UK, Ireland, USA, Singapore and China. We normally work with regional wholesalers and retailers and occasionally we supply multiple retailers or supermarkets. But that depends on the wines and the size of the winery. Sometimes there is no point linking a small winery to a large distributor, as someone inevitably suffers.
We are currently working with a select group of growers in the Languedoc Roussillon, Rhone Valley and Bordeaux. We have ceased working with Australia and South Africa, as we feel that there are some greater wines still to explore in France at better value. Languedoc and the Rhone are still undiscovered in so many ways, whilst Bordeaux has some pure class.
If you own a wine business, a shop, wholesale, or internet business we would be very happy to send you our latest wine list.

In the last couple of years I have gradually developed the wine tourism side of our business This has essentially come from demand from our customers as well as a willingness to share some of the excitement involved in the wine trade. During the last 22 years working in the wine trade in Europe I have met some fantastic people. On many of the wine tours to Bordeaux and the Languedoc we meet some of these characters. A real mixed bag ....journalists, artists, wine makers, millionaire Chateau owners, shop owners, restaurateurs, Masters of Wine, Hotel owners, tractor drivers, musicians, negociants, agents, dreamers and lovers! We can not promise all of them, however we always deliver something fun, interesting and unique.
We currently have wine tours organized in April, May, June, August and September. We would be very happy to arrange a trip to Bordeaux or the south of France and see what is really 'behind the scenes'.

But we would really appreciate some feedback! Please feel free to contribute to this blog on the comments section. Likes or dislikes are always worth voicing.
I have some exciting new plans for this blog and our websites, twitter and Facebook accounts. So please keep following, 'friending' or simply being there. We value your interest. Thank you.