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Global Vintner François Lurton Sells His Portuguese Wineries

March 5, 2012

Citing lackluster sales, French vintner François Lurton has sold his ownership stake in two high-quality Portuguese estates, Quinta do Malho and Quinta Beira Douro, Wine Spectator reports. He sold his share to minority partner Cap Wine International, which previously held a 40% stake. The price wasn’t disclosed.

Together, vineyards for both estates covered 37 acres, with the potential to double in size. Current combined production is approximately 3,300 cases annually. Also included in the sale was the Barco Negro line of value-priced bottlings made from purchased fruit. That label accounted for the vast majority of Lurton’s Douro production—about 17,000 cases last year.

Cap Wine, composed of French and Canadian partners, already owns Domaine de l’Herré in the Côtes de Gascogne. One of Cap Wine’s founders is Lurton’s sister, Christine Lurton de Caix, who oversees Château Dauzac in Bordeaux’s Margaux district.

Lurton’s current wine interests include ventures in France’s Languedoc and Roussillon, and also in Spain, Argentina and Chile. He told Wine Spectator that the Douro sale, along with the recent divestiture of about 170 acres in Argentina’s Maipú Valley, were aimed at repositioning his wine business, and that he’s on the lookout for new investments.

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