Gambal becomes first foreigner to own Les Batards Montrachet Grand Cru

Daily wine news - the latest breaking wine news from around the world News News Wine News
  • Friday 11 March 2011

Alex Gambal, proprietor of Beaune negociant Maison Gambal, has purchased vines within a Montrachet Grand Cru – becoming the first non-Frenchman to own land in a Montrachet site

Alex Gambal

Gambal has bought the land from Philippe Brenot of Domaine Brenot in Santenay for an undisclosed sum: the deal comprises 3.5ha of vines in Puligny-Montrachet, Chassagne-Montrachet, and Santenay.

Gambal, who was Brenot's student at Beaune's wine school from 1996-1997, started his negociant business in 1998. Originally from Washington DC, he is described in Decanter by Stephen Brook as having 'patiently created a small, high-quality négociant company. Whites and reds are equally good, and prices are moderate'.

For his latest project he gathered a group of friends and investors from the US and UK as well as ‘a modest amount of bank financing’ to put the deal together.

The Bâtard-Montrachet parcels, called Les Bâtards Montrachet, can produce up to 7.5 barrels of wine (187 cases).

The parcel of Puligny-Montrachet, Les Enseiginères, covers 0.3ha and is classified as a village wine but because of its preeminence is often referred to as 'baby Bâtard'.

The Chassagne-Montrachet vineyard, of less than one tenth of a hectare, is called L'Ormeau. Gambal also acquired a house on the Santenay town square which will be rented out.

Gambal intends to convert the land to biodynamic immediately ‘using no tractors, plowed with a horse, with all spraying to be done by hand,’ he told

He will not change his distribution patterns – at present a quarter of his business is within France with the rest exported to US, UK, Russia, Australia, and Asia.

Panel tastings

Wine labels from some of the world's most famous wines

Related Topics