Château de Lagorce sold to Chinese buyer

Bordeaux winery Château de Lagorce has been sold to a Chinese wine merchant for an undisclosed amount, adding to the growing list of Chinese investors snapping up vineyards to sate domestic consumers’ thirst for the region’s wines.

The sale, announced by Christie’s International Vineyards-Bordeaux, included the winery’s current stocks, roughly 69 hectares of land and 43 hectares of vineyards all of which has gone to a Chinese wine company called SCEA Degore.

An AOC Bordeaux estate located in Targon, the winery was owned by Benjamin Mazeau, who had inherited the property from his mother in 1985.

The winery, a former church building with one of the original windows, dates back to Gallo-Roman times and the Mazeau family have owned the property since 1928.

Previous owner René Mazeau, an engineer in physics and chemistry, devoted his research to increasing the quality of both the wine and the agricultural methods in the vineyard.

He was a pioneer in vine training methods, of drainage, of maintaining grass in between the rows of vines and heating the grape juice for the first maceration.

The vineyards are planted with Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, and existing contracts with customers will be maintained although the focus of the new owners will of course be on China.

Mr Lin, director of investments for SCEA Degore, commented: “We were looking for a vineyard which had a large surface area so as to have a good level of production. We intend to distribute the wines to the existing clients as well as our outlets in China.” 

Benjamin Mazeau added: “I am very attached to this property having spent my whole life here. I am pleased that my existing team will continue to look after Château de Lagorce with an excellent new director and I will be assisting in this transition over the coming months.”

Despite competition from New World wines, Bordeaux remains the foremost reference point of wine for the vast majority of Chinese drinkers. In 2017, Bordeaux exported a total of €397 million worth of wine to China, which accounted for 20% of its export value, according to figures released by the CIVB.

Asia has already grown to be its biggest export market, responsible for 45% of Bordeaux’s export value last year, ahead of the EU (33%) and North America (13%).

The region exported 290 million bottles of wine last year worth about €2.02 billion.

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