A wine lover has made the first major Chinese purchase in Burgundy.
The Burgundy deal differs from the spate of purchases in Bordeaux in that it is a partnership, with local grower Pascal Chevigny selling two hectares of vines to 28-year-old businessman Shi Yi.
The two, who are the same age, met while studying for a masters in wine and spirits at Dijon university.
They have worked together over the past six months, and will continue to do so after this purchase, with Yi responsible for the marketing of the wines, and Chevigny for work in the vineyard and cellars.
‘We intend to work together from the vines to the bottle,’ Shi Yi told professional newsletter V&S News. ‘Besides these vines, we buy grapes which we vinify in our cellars in Vosne-Romanée and age the wines in our cellars in Nuits-Saint-Georges.’
Over the past six months, the partnership has shipped three containers of Burgundy wine to Shanghai.
Yi – who lives in Burgundy – has bought one hectare of Vosne-Romanée at Champs Perdrix (situated above La Tâche), another plot in Vosne-Romanée at les Petits Monts, Premier Cru (near Richebourg), and a few smaller plots in Vosne-Romanée, Nuits Saint-Georges village and AOC Bourgogne.
Although unusual, this is not the first Asian buyer in Burgundy. Ten years ago, a Japanese sommelier, Koji Nakada, set up Maison Lou Dumont in Nuits-Saint-Georges, now working out of Gevrey-Chambertin as winemaker across 15 Burgundian appellations.
Chinese purchases in Bordeaux now stand at around 20, with the latest being Chateau Barateau and Chateau Lafon in the Medoc by Marvelake Wine, and Taiwanese businessman Peter Kwok completing the purchase of three properties, La Patache in Pomerol, Haut-Brisson and La Tour St Chrstophe in Saint Emilion – one for each of his children.
Kyriakos Kynigopoulos, a Greek wine consultant and owner of Burgundia Oenology, who has worked in Burgundy since 1982, told Decanter.com, ‘The Burgundians are very close to their wines, and it is extremely unusual to have a foreigner buying vines. Even the arrival of the Bordelais in Vosne-Romanée raised a few eyebrows.’
Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux