Poor vintages force château sale

22nd December, 2014 by Patrick Schmitt

A Chinese buyer has acquired a Northern Médoc property from its French and Dutch owners who decided to sell following recent difficult vintages, especially this year when hail decimated its crop.

Chateau_Preuillac

Château Preuillac was bought in 1998 by the Mau and Dirkzwager families and sold this month to a Chinese buyer.

The estate, Château Preuillac, is a 30 hectare cru Bourgeois property which is 50% owned by the Mau family, former owners of Bordeaux négociant Yvon Mau – acquired by Freixenet in 2001 – and the Dirkzwager family, Yvonne Mau’s distributor in The Netherlands.

Speaking to the drinks business this morning about the sale, Richard Bampfield MW, who acts as a marketing consultant for the Mau family, said that recent growing-season conditions in the northern Médoc had encouraged Preuillac’s owners to re-think their investment in this part of Bordeaux, as well as focus their efforts on Château Brown in Pessac-Léognan, which is also owned jointly by the two families, and is fast-gaining a reputation for its high quality white Bordeaux.

“It’s fair to say that the last 2-3 vintages have been difficult in the northern Médoc, and after this year particularly, when the property was hit by hail, they [the two families] thought they should concentrate on Château Brown,” he said.

Furthermore, in a previous discussion with the drink business, Jean-Christophe Mau, who has been managing both châteaux, said that “the sale was a good price for us and a high price for the Médoc.”

Although neither the sale price nor the buyer of the Preuillac property has been disclosed, the estimated value of a good cru bourgeois property in the Médoc is around €50,000 per hectare, suggesting that the estate would have changed hands for at least €1.5 million.

According to Bampfield, the buyer from China would prefer to remain anonymous, partly because he does not intend to live at the château and partly because he is keen for Jean-Christophe Mau to continue to manage the estate as before.

Indeed, Jean-Christophe told db that he would stay on as manager of Château Preuillac, but also said that its sale would allow him to focus on renovating the vineyards at Château Brown, where he said he was even considering opening a restaurant.

News of this latest Bordeaux acquisition by a Chinese national follows the announcement earlier this month that New Century Tourism Group, which claims to be among the 20 largest hotel operators in China, has agreed to buy Cadillac estate Château de Birot.

Click here to read more about Château Preuillac.

One Response to “Poor vintages force château sale”

  1. Alain says:

    Perhaps a new manager who will mainly focus on this chateau will help to make the business profitable?
    Seems obvious? Perhaps not when the new owner is in China? Wine making is really a business which needs a full attention I suppose.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Sales Executive (London – Craft Spirits)

Bimber Distillery
London, UK

2 x Buying Assistants

Berry Bros. & Rudd
Battersea and Basingstoke, UK

Temporary Christmas Sales Support - Wines & Spirits

Harrods
Knighsbridge, London, UK

Head of Wholesale

Hispamerchants Ltd
London, UK

Sales Manager

Hispamerchants Ltd
London, UK

National Sales Manager

Maverick Drinks
Field based, UK

Regional Sales Executive

EWGA
Gloucestershire, UK

Senior Content Writer

Rude Wines
Ledbury, UK

The World Bulk Wine Exhibition

Amsterdam,Netherlands
20th Nov 2017

The Drinks Business Green Awards 2017

London,United Kingdom
20th Nov 2017

The Global Spirits Masters Lunch

London,United Kingdom
1st Dec 2017
Click to view more

Green Awards 2017

Deadline : 25th October 2017

The Global Riesling Masters 2017

Deadline : 30th October 2017

Click to view more

Champagne Masters 2017

The only Champagne blind tasting in the UK, the competition will reward the best wines in the following categories:

The Global Rosé Masters 2017

With wines from the palest of pink to almost ruby red, bone dry to almost cloyingly sweet, reductively handled to barrel-aged, as well as gently spritzy to fully sparkling.

Click to view more