Chateau La Clotte, the Saint Emilion grand cru classe estate, has been sold to Alain Vauthier of Chateau Ausone through the Vauthier family's company, Maziere.

Chateau La Clotte vineyards have been bought by the Vauthier family. Image credit: La Clotte

Vauthier
confirmed late last week that his family company, of which he is director, has bought a majority stake in La Clotte, which has four hectares of vines in the centre of Saint Emilion village.

Maziere comprises around 50 hectares of vines in the Saint Emilion area. Its estates include Chateaux Simard, Haut Simard and Dame de la Gaffeliere.

‘The acquisition is nothing to do with Chateau Ausone,’ Vauthier told local newspaper Sudouest. ‘It’s an entirely different legal entity.’

Chateau La Clotte was known until 1913 as La Clotte de Grailly, meaning a troglodyte cave dwelling in the local Gascon language and a reference to its extensive limestone cellars.

It has been seen as generally underperforming, despite its excellent location on the limestone plateau right in heart of Saint Emilion. Since 1990, Nelly Moulierac, great granddaughter of Sylvain Chailleau, who bought the estate in 1912 and renamed it, has been running La Clotte with her cousins Dominique Tord and Odile Plantade.

Moulierac will remain a minority shareholder and will continue living at the property.

‘Our families have been close for a long time,’ said Vauthier, who is planning to build a new winery for La Clotte. ‘The same staff will remain in place, and very little will change, besides the ownership structure’.

A fee for the deal was not disclosed, but the original asking price for La Clotte was €14m, according to sources in the region.

Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux