DBR Lafite ‘in talks’ with Domaine Artémis to buy Chablis producer William Fèvre
Domaines Barons de Rothschild Lafite (DBR Lafite) is in exclusive talks with Domaine Artémis, the business owned by French billionaire luxury goods magnate Francois Pinault, to buy one of Chablis’ greatest wine domaines, William Fèvre.
The estate comprises 78 hectares of vineyards in the appellation of Chablis in North Burgundy, of which 15.9ha are classified Premier Cru and 15.2ha Grand Cru.
Speaking about the acquisition, Saskia de Rothschild, CEO of DBR Lafite, said they would be “truly honoured” to write a new chapter in the history of Domaine William Fèvre. She said its iconic terroir of Grand Cru, Premier Cru and Chablis Village plots and long history of producing great white wines as well “strong investment in sustainable development”, convinced the team to “continue our winemaking story towards this more northern region”.
“Wines from the Chablis vineyards are magical: we really hope we can soon learn from this terroir and ecosystem whose development we have admired over the recent years and whose vigneron approach and family style we love,” she said.
Currently, the company’s holdings comprises five estates in Bordeaux (Château Lafite Rothschild, Château Duhart-Milon, Rieussec, Château Paradis Casseuil and Château L’Évangile), one in the Languedoc, Domaine d’Aussières, Viña Los Vascos in Chile, Bodegas Caro in Argentina and Domaine de Long Dai in China.
The sale of the prime Chablis estate by Pinault’s wine business comes less than a year after Artemis acquired William Fèvre through its merger with Maisons & Domaines Henriot and appears to be part of a rearrangement of the Pinault wine businesses.
Its recent acquisitions that have seen it become a serious player in the exclusive Champagne market, with the December acquisition of Champagne Jacquesson (after initially taking a 33% minority stake), and the December merger with Maisons & Domaines Henriot. This brought Champagne Henriot into the Artémis Domaines fold, along with Beaune-based négociant and producer business Bouchard Pere & Fils – and William Fèvre. It also already owns land in Burgundy, through its April 2018 acquisition of the largest of the five Grands Crus Monopoles in Burgundy, Clos de Tart.