Château Loudenne returns to French ownership
Château Loudenne had been insolvent since its former owners, Kweichow Moutai and Camus, withdrew their investment. Now, the Médoc winery has found a new buyer.
dChristophe Gouache (Left), new owner of Château LoudenneGeneral manager of Château Loudenne, Philippe de Poyferré, announced on Linkedin four months ago that the winery had been placed into insolvency proceedings by the Bordeaux Commercial Court on 24 November 2021, due to long overdue employee wages and other expenses.
In the same post, he claimed that Loudenne’s former owner, Kweichow Moutai – China’s most valuable publicly-listed company – faced certain “constraints regarding foreign transactions for Chinese state-owned enterprises” , which meant the company was not authorised to continue its investment plan to redevelop the estate.
As Moutai ducked out, investor partner Camus Cognac, former minority shareholder of Loudenne, followed accordingly.
Last week, as reported by Anthocyanes, former accountant Christophe Gouache, owner of Médoc wineries Chateau Bellerive and Chateau Valeyrac, was announced as Loudenne’s new buyer.
Gouache said the purchase of Loudenne is a family project as he intends to settle in Médoc. He is intrigued by and is keen to support the organic and sustainable approach of Loudenne.
Moutai purchased Chateau Loudenne in 2013 under the international expansion policy encouraged amongst China’s state-owned enterprises at that time.
Camus Cognac, long-standing distributor of Moutai in the Duty-Free markets, joined as a minority shareholder and took over the management of the winery in 2016.
Over this period, Camus redeveloped the vineyard according to organic standards and rejuvenated the brand in the distribution network.
Situated in Northern Médoc, Château Loudenne spans more than 132 hectares of which 62 are in operation.
When Moutai purchased the winery, it had ambitious plans to create a luxury hotel within its grounds to attract tourists and invest €5 million into modernising the production facilities and equipment in order to make Loudenne a top winery amongst Crus Bourgeois.
In 2015, Loudenne was brought to court for violating local labour laws, as it owed wages to three Chinese employees. The winery was accused of concealing work content, not paying overtime pay, and not complying with dismissal procedures, which caused a stir in the local area.