The Bordeaux vineyards are renowned and their wines known around the world. The Chinese, whose taste for luxury products ‘Made in France’ and the biggest fashion brands, are also very fond of wine , champagne and more generally the French art of living. In fact, some wealthy families are investing more and more in Bordeaux vineyards . What are the reasons and consequences?
Bordeaux vineyards: The attraction of an exceptional wine and real estate heritage, but not only …
Initially owners of “small” estates whose price oscillates between 2 and 7 million euros, this new wave of Asian investors sometimes goes into high gear if they are convinced of their first investment. Some prices soar, without scaring wealthy businessmen, like Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba seduced by the great wines, which owns the Château de Sours, de Perenne et Guerry. Some areas are estimated at over 60 million euros, and a demand exists.
Some numbers : since 1984, 153 transactions from China concerning Bordeaux châteaux have been recorded. In 2013, the record was set at 35 châteaux sold in a single year. (Source: Vitisphere ).
The main reasons that push the Chinese to invest in Bordeaux vineyards are:
– The potential profitability of their financial investment;
– The acquisition of a historical real estate heritage, sometimes classified;
– Knowledge of Chinese red wine market for export;
A business opportunity, among others
Indeed, the Chinese, although they are in love with the architectural, natural and gastronomic heritage of the region, also see the return they can hope for. For them, it’s not just passion, but a company they invest in. Some wines sell for a high price once on Chinese soil , and the development of wine tourism in Bordeaux reinforces the investor in the diversification of his sources of income, in case of bad year for the harvest for example.
The consequences for the region’s wine industry
According to some specialists in the profession, these investments are a boon for the profession of winegrower in Bordeaux and the surrounding area. Indeed, the Chinese are “the best ambassadors to their compatriots” according to Georges Haushalter, former president of the Interprofessional Council of Bordeaux Wine (CIVB). What to promote for France its place of number 1 exporter of wines to China.
However, not all those involved in Bordeaux viticulture and Bordeaux vineyards are delighted with this arrival. Although the number of properties acquired by the Chinese is still marginal out of the 8,000 in the region , some denounce a loss of mastery of know-how and traditions that held in the hands of entire generations of winegrowing families.
Yet many of these investors keep production tools and methods , or even seek to improve them to give a new dimension to their newly acquired grape varieties. However it is also important to note that a lot of investments in Bordeaux vineyards are made by French or European companies.
The main thing to remember
Although these investments from the other side of the planet can represent a “danger” for some followers centuries-old traditions passing into the hands of Chinese owners , the vineyard is not exportable and will indeed remain on French soil . If the Chinese and others Asian investors passionate about wine are able to invest fortunes necessary for the development of the Bordeaux wine industry, a fair balance in investment and export relations seems to be a great opportunity for wine production and wine tourism in Bordeaux .