Champagne group Thiénot has taken a major stake in Bordeaux négociant CVBG Dourthe-Kressmann.

The deal was engineered by Jean-Marie Chadronnier, the present head of CVBG with a view to capitalising the Bordeaux house for further development and expansion.

The Thiénot group includes the Champagne houses Thiénot, Canard-Duchêne, Joseph Perrier, Marie Stuart and Malard as well as three estates in Bordeaux.

A majority shareholding in Modus Vin, the holding company for CVBG Dourthe-Kressmann, effectively gives Thiénot financial control of one of Bordeaux’s principal actors.

CVBG had a turnover of €123m in 2006, and through the company Vins et Vignobles Dourthe owns or manages several Bordeaux properties including classed growth Château Belgrave in the Haut-Médoc, Château La Garde in Pessac-Léognan and generic Bordeaux Château Pey La Tour.

Jean-Marie Chadronnier looks set to step down as CEO, handing over the reins to Patrick Jestin, presently general manager for sales and marketing. There will be no changes in personnel. Chadronnier’s son Mathieu will continue as general manager of the Division Grands Crus.

CVBG will take over the management of Thiénot’s Bordeaux properties and will be looking to expand into other regions in France. Château de Sérame in the Minervois-Corbières already provides a link in the chain.

The new CVBG-Thiénot group will become a major player in France. Expected turnover for 2007 is €275m. Vineyard holdings amount to 725ha in Bordeaux, Champagne and the Languedoc.

Written by James Lawther in Bordeaux