Chinese juice company quietly snaps up 11 Bordeaux wineries

China’s leading juice maker, Huiyuan Juice Group, has quietly snapped up 11 Bordeaux wineries since 2014, and is in talks of acquiring another, undisclosed, grand cru classé château, the company revealed to a Chinese wine media in a recent interview.

Photo credit: Huiyuan

Photo credit: Huiyuan

In a report by Wine Business Obversation, the general manager of Huiyuan’s wine business department, Zhang Chuanliang said the company has completed the purchase of seven wineries in Bordeaux including Château Perrin d’Hoge and Château la Fleaur Jonquet, and it is in the process of finishing up another four purchases. The wineries are mostly in Graves, Pomeral and Saint-Emilion areas.

With the 11 wineries, Zhang said it will bring Huiyuan’s wine production to three million bottles annually, two million of which will be exported to China market. The wines, claiming to be “medium to high-end quality” will be sold between RMB 100 (€13.7) to RMB 3,000 (€411) a bottle retail, according to the company.

The exact amounts paid for the various acquisitions were not disclosed in the report.

Zhang also revealed that Huiyuan is planning to purchase a grand cru classé winery either in Saint Emilion or the Médoc, but without specifying any names.

Explaining the motives behind the string of purchases, the executive said that Old World wines’ established reputation in China, together with Bordeaux wines’ good quality led to the company’s purchase decision, adding that China and France’ stable relations over the years also contributed to the decision.

This is the latest revelation of a Chinese company hopping on the Bordeaux winery buying spree. There are more than 120 French vineyards that are owned by Chinese tycoons, according to local French newspaper Sud Ouest.

Earlier this year, Alibaba founder Jack Ma bought two Bordeaux wineries, the 80-hectare Château de Sours and the 64-hectare Château Perenne.

Huiyuan’s ambition to tap into wine business started back in 2012 with local wine business. The company invested in a local winery in China’s northern Jilin province before investing in a second winery in Shandong province in eastern China.

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