Chinese buys first Bordeaux classed growth27th September, 2012 by Gabriel Stone
Château Bellefont-Belcier has become the first Bordeaux classed growth to be sold to a Chinese buyer.
The 13-hectare St-Emilion grand cru estate is understood to have been bought by a Chinese industrialist who, according to French newspaper Sud-Ouest, employs 20,000 workers across his metal business empire.
This high profile acquisition is thought be part of the buyer’s diversification into wine, which he could potentially sell through his 40-strong chain of retail outlets in China.
Established in the 17th century, since 1994 the property in the commune of St Laurent-des-Combes has been co-owned by Jacques Berrebi, Alain Laguillaumie and Dominique Hébrand, one-time proprietor of Château Cheval Blanc. Prior to this recent exchange, it is reported to have been on the market for several years.
Although the details of the deal have not been disclosed, a classified estate in the St-Emilion appellation would expect to sell for between €1 million and €2m per hectare.
While Bellefont-Belcier is the first classed growth Bordeaux property to pass into Chinese hands, around 40 Bordeaux estates – mostly in appellations such as Entre-Deux-Mers, Côtes de Bordeaux and Côtes de Bourg – are now thought to have Chinese owners.