In another demonstration of China’s growing financial clout, a Chinese industrialist has purchased a top winery in France’s Bordeaux region.
According to sources close to the deal, a 45-year-old Chinese industrial purchased Chateau Bellefont-Belcier, a Grand Cru classified estate in France’s prestigious Saint Emilion wine-making area.
Chinese investors have acquired about 30 other properties in Bordeaux (the larger region that includes Saint Emilion) in the last two years, although this is the first estate of the Grand Cru category to change over into Chinese hands.
The chateau, which had been on the market for a number of years, has 13 hectares of vines and total land of 20 hectares. A source close to the transaction said the final price was between Euros 1.5 million and 2 million euros (US$1.95 million to US$2.6 million) per hectare of vines.
The sale had been in negotiation for a number of months, but the price was not finalized until after the announcement in September of a once-in-a-decade reclassification of Saint Emilion wines, which confirmed the estate’s Grand Cru status.
In commenting on recent purchases of the wine estates by Chinese investors, an official with the French government said that he expects another 10 chateaux could be sold to Chinese buyers by the end of the year if bureaucratic obstacles can be overcome.