Etienne de Montille of Domaine de Montille in Burgundy has bought Chateau de Puligny-Montrachet from the French bank Credit Foncier.
The purchase of Chateau de Puligny-Montrachet takes the de Montille holdings to 35ha, twenty hectares of which are Grand Cru.
These include 0.04ha of Le Montrachet Grand Cru, 0.25ha of Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru and 0.05ha of Batard Montrachet Grand Cru.
As director of the chateau since 2001, Etienne de Montille has introduced lower yields and biodynamic farming across its range of vineyards. The property has always been well-thought-of but it was generally considered to be underperforming until de Montille arrived: Berry Bros described it as ‘a slumbering giant’ before 2001.
de Montille expects to make further changes now he is owner. As he told Decanter.com, ‘It is always more difficult to take risks when you are working for someone else.’
‘I can now make decisions with a long term view in mind. If I have to leave the vines fallow, or ensure low yields in certain areas, I can do that. It is not always easy explaining these kinds of decisions to a bank with shareholders.’
Although the exact amount of the sale was not revealed, a minority holding has been taken by several private investors.
‘I asked wine lovers, not professionals, who were already clients of mine at Domaine de Montille, if they would like to become involved. For me, it was a great opportunity not just for the financial support, but for their insights in different markets, and for them, a chance to become involved with some of the most precious terroir in Burgundy.’
The sale was completed in late June.
Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux