The Decanter Power List 2013
16 Pierre Castel (19)
President and founder, Groupe Castel, 86
Castel was alwa ys a bête noire for British wine lovers, who criticised the French group’s decimation of high street chain Oddbins, subsumed as it was= into Castel’s uninspiring Nicolas chain. Familyowned Castel, under the chair of the octogenarian Pierre, continues to dominate, with 640 million bottles sold worldwide; thousands of hectares of vineyards in every French region; and ownership, with Japanese powerhouse Suntory (see opposite page), of Châteaux Beychevelle and Beaumont and the négociant Barrière Frères. Castel also has powerful alliances in China, notably through its tie-up with Changyu, which calls itself the world’s 10th-largest wine producer and is the first Chinese wine to get a UK listing with Berry Bros & Rudd. With Castel has built six huge châteaux in China.