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Château Montrose owners acquire US wine estate RdV Vineyards

The billionaire owners of Château Montrose have acquired US vineyard RdV Vineyards, marking the first foray into Virginia by a Bordeaux house.

RdV Vineyards is located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains

The estate, which was named after founder Rutger der Vink, who will stay on for the 2024 vintage as a consultant, will be renamed Lost Mountain, which the company says “pays tribute to the remarkable terroir of this ancient knoll once beloved by America’s founding father, George Washington”.

Martin and Olivier Bouygues, who acquired Château Montrose in 2006, run industrial conglomerate Bouygues Group, which includes France’s third-largest telecommunications company. They also own Château Tronquoy-Lalande in Saint-Estèphe, the 25-acre domaine Clos Rougeard in Saumur-Champigny in the Loire, which they bought in 2018  a controlling stake in Burgundian estate Domaine Henri Rebourseau in the Côte de Nuitsand Cognac distillery Domaine de Métairie.

A statement from the companies notes that all of the wine businesses will be moved under the auspices of new company Eutopia Estate, the new name for SCDM, which will headed by Martin’s daughter Charlotte Bouygues, who spearheads the group’s strategic development, and her mother, US-native Melissa Bouygues, the chairwoman of Chateau Montrose. The RdV team, headed by winemaker Joshua Grainer MW will continue, working alongside Montrose’s Pierre Graffeuille.

The statement heralded “a new era” for the Virginian winery, adding that the Bouygues had “embraced Rutger’s vision of creating an iconic wine in an unlikely location, making them the perfect fit’.

“This acquisition is a unique opportunity to continue developing the exacting work that has made the reputation of the estate,” it said.

The estate was a 93-acre sheep farm in the foothills of Blue Ridge Mountains de Vink bought it in 2004, but it now comprises 18-acres  under vine, planted with 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 8% Petit Verdot, with its own winery on site. De Vink drafted in vineyard consultant Jean-Philippe Roby and winemaking consultant Eric Boissenot on the project (who will continue to work with Lost Mountain) and released the inaugural vintage in 2008, concentrating on two main cuvees, ‘Lost Mountain, American Grand Cru’ and Rendevous, which are mainly sold through a membership program. He also produces a small amount of rosé and will produce the estate’s first white wine, a blend of Albariño and Semillon, this year.

According to a report in the Washington Post, de Vink emailed supporters this week thanking his team and supporters, saying together they had “created a world-class wine and helped put Virginia on the worldwide wine map”.

Château Montrose have been approached for comment.

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