Another Bordeaux estate bought by Chinese29th August, 2012 by Rupert Millar
A château in Entre-Deux-Mers has been acquired by a Shanghai steel industrialist.
Continuing the trend for Chinese buying estates in Bordeaux, Zhi Gen Lai bought the 40 hectare Château Bel-Air from its French owner, Philippe Moysson, for an undisclosed sum that was reportedly “over the going rate”.
Moysson has apparently been supplying Lai’s wine business for a number of years now and said that as he had no successors he had taken the opportunity to sell to Lai.
He told French newspaper Sud Ouest that “as far as he knew”, Lai was keen to use the estate to develop wine tourism, particularly for Chinese visitors.
The number of Chinese owners in Bordeaux has grown exponentially since 2008 and now numbers around 40 estates, mostly in appellations such as Entre-deux-Mers, Côtes de Bordeaux and Côtes de Bourg.
Some of Lai’s neighbours in the area include fellow Chinese at Château Grand Mouëys, Château Blanchet, Château de Cugat and Château Latour-Laguens.
For the most part, Chinese buyers will sell their stocks in China through channels they own themselves.
They often invest heavily in their properties and they are as much a status symbol as a business opportunity.
The Bordelais seem quite content so far but the Burgundians less so. Château Gevrey-Chambertin and its vineyards were recently sold to an associate of Stanley Ho, the Macau gambling tycoon, raising the ire of the local collective