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Domaines Barons de Rothschild acquires William Fèvre

The owner of Château Lafite Rothschild has bought the William Fèvre estate, known for its fine Chablis, from Artémis Domaines.

Domaines Barons de Rothschild acquires William Fèvre (DBR) has added top-tier Chablis estate William Fèvre to its portfolio for an undisclosed sum, following many months of rumours that the Bordeaux group was eyeing up the property.

In July last year db reported that DBR had hinted that William Fèvre’s “strong investment in sustainable development” had tempted the group “towards this more northern region”.

The William Fèvre acquisition is DBR’s first move into Burgundy.

Encompassing vineyards ranging from Chablis village status all the way up to Grand Cru across its 72ha estate, William Fèvre already follows organic farming principles, chiming with DBR’s approach, with all the wine group’s estates either organically certified or undergoing conversion.

“The spirit of the place and the team, rooted in the vineyards they tend, as well as their precise approach to organic and environmentally concerned viticulture, and their minimal intervention approach in the cellar, are all values which align perfectly with our long term outlook,” said Saskia de Rothschild in a statement.

“We look forward to being able to learn and move forwards with [Fèvre manager] Didier Sèguier.”

Artémis Domaines sells the prestigious Chablis property a little more than one year after acquiring it in 2022 as part of its merger with the Champagne Henriot group. It also sold the Champagne Henriot brand to cooperative group Terroirs et Vignerons de Champagne (TEVC) in October 2023.

DBR owns Château Lafite Rothschild, one of the largest estates in the Médoc, with more than 1,200ha of vineyards. Also among its portfolio are Bordeaux estates Château Duhart-Milon, Rieussec, Château Paradis Casseuil and Château L’Évangile and the Languedoc-based Domaine d’Aussières. Outside France, DBR owns Viña Los Vascos in Chile, Bodegas Caro in Argentina and Domaine de Long Dai in China.

DBR’s first foray into Burgundy comes at a time when the region is gaining renewed interest on the secondary market. The latest Power 100 fine wine list, compiled by global fine wine marketplace Liv-ex, revealed that four of the top 10 biggest risers in the list this year were Burgundy brands. These climbers were Louis Latour, Hubert Lamy, Bruno Clair and Domaine Fourrier.

Burgundy is also impressing merchants with its 2022 vintage as the en primeur campaign kicks off this month, with Adam Bruntlett, Burgundy buyer for Berry Bros & Rudd, declaring the wines “the best he had tasted in over a decade working in the region”.

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