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.