France's Crédit Agricole bank has sold its controlling stake of in Château de Rayne Vigneau, the 1855 first growth estate in Sauternes.

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Château de Rayne Vigneau sold

Crédit Agricole’s wine arm, CA Grands Crus, sold the 84 hectare Château Rayne Vigneau to Trésor du Patrimoine – a specialist group already present in wine with a turnover of €250m.

Other businesses within the Trésor du Patrimoine group include Vignobles Lalande-Moreau in St-Emilion and Traditions du Périgord, France’s largest mail-order foie gras business.

CA Grands Crus had majority owned Rayne Vigneau since 2004 and continues to hold a minority stake in the Sauternes estate.

It said the current château team will remain in place, headed up by Thierry Budin, who announced the news without disclosing financial details.

‘The team has done remarkable work in the last 10 years,’ Budin said. ‘But we needed to go further and for this we needed a partner. Trésor du Patrimoine has an excellent distribution network.’

CA Grands Crus also announced that it has bought all of Margaux cru bourgeois Château La Tour de Mons, which it was already an investor in, and has run since early 2012.

Crédit Agricole also owns Château Grand Puy Ducasse in Pauillac, Château Meyney in St Estephe and Château Blaignan in the Médoc.