Bordeaux’s Château Vieux Paquillon sold to Aussie buyer

Vineyards-Bordeaux, an affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate, has confirmed the sale of Bordeaux estate, Château Vieux Paquillon, to an unnamed Australian vineyard investor.

The St Emilion estate had previously been owned by Andre Benoist, who is also owner of Chateau La Bergère AOC Montagne Saint Emilion, who had purchased the vineyard in 2004.

Since then, with his family, they have run the estate and restored the property.

The estate covers 12.6 hectares, with 9.8 of that dedicated vineyards, and includes two lakes, a restored 19th century Girondine farmhouse with chai attached and a large function room.

The name of the buyer has not been revealed, but indicates an interest by Australian investors in Bordeaux wineries, following in the footsteps of an influx of Chinese investors in the region. 

Camille Benoist, who is part of the family selling the vineyard and owner of Bordeaux negoçiant SAS La Bergère, has signed a wine purchase agreement to collaborate with the buyer on sales of wines from Chateau Vieux Paquillon for the next four vintages.

The buyer, having chosen to remain anonymous, nevertheless released a statement following the sale, noting that Australia was “having a love affair with Bordeaux and its wines at the moment”.

“Although we will pursue domestic Australian markets, our plan is to maintain many of the existing distribution channels that the Benoist family have established,” the unnamed buyer said. “We believe that the St Emilion satellite appellations provide a very interesting investment opportunity and we are also excited to be able to work with Camille Benoist to develop wine distribution in the future.”

Vieux Paquillon is the latest in a long line of Bordeaux estates to to have changed hands in 2017 and the first half of 2018, with several classified estates sold to new owners, in particular from China.

This has included the sale of premier grand cru classé Chateau Troplong Mondot to a French insurance firm, grand cru classé Chateau Bellefont Belcier to Chinese businessman Peter Kwok, and most recently the sale of Château de Lagorce to Chinese firm SCEA Degore earlier this month. However this is the first significant investment by an Australian purchaser in the region.

Michael Baynes of Vineyards-Bordeaux, indicated that several further deals could be in process, highlighting the ongoing interest in Bordeaux by foreign investors.

“This transaction represents the fourth vineyard transaction of 2018 for Vineyards-Bordeaux,” said Baynes. With five further vineyards under negotiation with LOI’s currently, the interest from French and international investors remains confident in the Bordeaux vineyard market.”

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