There has been a fury of deal making in France’s St. Emilion wine country in the last few years. But in 2017 prices are skyrocketing, with reports of sales at 6 million euro per hectare (slightly less than $3 million per acre). The astonishing property market is covered by Jane Anson at Decanter:
You could be forgiven for thinking that St-Emilion in 2017 has collectively broken into its own wine cellars and got seriously high on the contents.
It’s been hard to keep track of the number of classified estates changing hands, with six or seven Grand Cru Classés or Premier Grand Cru Classés going under the hammer in the last six months, and at least double that in terms of overall transactions.
It’s not just the sales that have been eyebrow-raising, but the prices. The average price per hectare in 2016 in St-Emilion, according to land agency SAFER in its report last year, was in a range from €180,000 to €2.3 million.
In 2017 we have seen Chateau Troplong Mondot exchange hands for between (unconfirmed but near certain) €5.5 and €6 million per hectare.
This was followed more recently by Clos Labarde for a reported €3.2 million per hectare to the same Scor insurance group that bought Troplong (after, so I was told by Gerard Perse of Pavie, a serious bidding war between the two parties) so cementing the idea that a new ceiling has been breached.
Clos Labarde is a 4.5ha AOC St-Emilion Grand Cru estate whose main attraction is its location close to Pavie Maquin (and, a stone’s throw further, Pavie itself, hence Perse’s interest).
Other high profile chateaux to have been sold include Chateau Bellefont Belcier to Peter Kwok (from Chinese owners Juxin Wine & Spirits who bought back in 2012, although I believe there may have been an interim sale somewhere between the two reportedly to a John Remos), Chateau Fonroque to the Guillard family, owners of another French insurance company in the shape of CHG Participations.
Read much more from Anson here.