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Wine Spectator: Bordeaux Winery Buyers Will Think Small in 2017

January 10, 2017

Bordeaux may be undervalued. Some Bordeaux, that is, if you review the past 12 months of winery deals in the French wine region best known for its famed classified growths.But classified growths rarely come on the market, and in 2016, buyers looked increasingly to lesser-known wineries, snapping up small estates because they believe quality winemaking and a decent price will attract new wine drinkers.

“The demand for estates in the range of 5 to 10 million euros ($5.3-$10.6 million) is very strong,” said Thierry Rustmann of Thierry Rustmann & Associates. “There’s always demand for Pomerol and St.-Emilion classified growths, but they can be difficult to find. There’s a demand for 1855 classified growths which cost 150 to 200 million euros ($160-$210 million), but it’s rare they come on the market. Right now we’re handling transactions in St.-Estèphe and Moulis, beautiful estates that are changing hands.”

Roughly “80% of all vineyards sold in Bordeaux are less than 5 million euros in value,” said Michael Baynes, partner at Maxwell-Storrie-Baynes Vineyards, the exclusive local affiliate to Christie’s International Real Estate. Asian investors keep the market lively, but there’s also strong interest from French industrialists, institutions and local owners seeking to expand their holdings. Baynes reports that Chinese buyers have dominated the market since 2010, and now collectively own more than 150 estates. But last year, buyers came from France, England, Taiwan, America and Brazil.

Baynes reports that last year Maxwell-Storrie-Baynes Vineyards alone sold 13 châteaus—previously seven sales indicated a healthy year. Other brokers are doing equally well, pointing to a robust market for 2017. Wine Spectator has a full report.

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