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Chinese company buys Château Bel-Air

Golden Field, a Chinese food and beverage multinational company, has completed the purchase of Domaine de Bellair in Castillon for an undisclosed sum, underlining Chinese buyers’ continued interest in Bordeaux châteaux.

Domaine de Bellair in Castillion was purchased by a Chinese firm for an undisclosed amount of money

The sale was concluded today (23 January), according to Michael Baynes, representative of property agent Maxwell-Storrie-Baynes, an affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate.

The company was also responsible for the sale of Domaine de Courteillac to another Chinese company, Daohe Wines and Spirits, last October.

The deal includes 55 hectares of vineyards which are 80% planted with Merlot, 15% with Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Its production stands at about 400,000 bottles a year.

Maxwell-Storrie-Baynes said the winery was selected by Golden Field due to its terroir and production volume. The existing operation and distribution system will be maintained but it will be enhanced by exports to Asian markets through the Golden Field distribution network, which boasts more than 4,000 restaurants and convenience stores as well as 30 million registered online members.

Located in Belvès-de-Castillion, east of St. Emilion, the domaine was previously owned by Patrick David. It produces four wines including Château de Francs La Comtesse, Château La Chapelle Monrepos, Grusy-Bellair and the well-known Château Bel-Air (not to be confused with Château Bel Air-Monange owned by Est. Moueix).

“This is an important moment for us as a company, to own our own Bordeaux vineyard is an exciting step and although we plan to keep the existing wine distribution channels we will also export to Japan, Taiwan, China and southeastern countries to make the most of the distribution network we have developed there. We want to pursue the traditions of French wine culture and open a new passage of history with Château Bel-Air,” said Golden Field’s chairman, Lu Cheng Chang.

Chinese wine giant Changyu is also reportedly in talks to buy more estates in Bordeaux. The Chinese buying boom in Bordeaux started a few years back with the positive review of 2009 vintage, spurring billionaires such as Jack Ma of Alibaba to purchase an estate in Bordeaux.

There are about 120 châteaux in Bordeaux that are now owned by Chinese companies.

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