The former Libourne race-course, located within the Pomerol appellation of Bordeaux, has begun its conversion to vineyard land, eighteen months after its closure was first mooted.
The land, which had held three to four races per year for over a century, has now been sold off, and 13 hectares of vines will be added to AOC Pomerol, taking it from 780 to 793 hectares.
Vineyard land is rare in this sought-after appellation, and only six winemakers were successful in their bids, which was governed by the national land-registry agency SAFER.
These are Chateau Mazeyres (4 hectares), Francois Janoueix (2.85 hectares), Benoit Trocard (2.08 hectares), Jean-Baptiste Bourotte (2.02 hectares), Luc and Marc Maison (1.3 hectares) and Daniel Mouty (0.8 hectares).
‘Priority was given to winemakers who already had vines adjacent,’ Jean-Baptiste Bourotte told decanter.com. ‘Our new vines complete a plot that we already had that was not square because of the race track, so now it will be easier to work.’
They intend to use it first in their second wine, Beausejour de Bonalgue, and in the future in the first wine, Chateau Bonalgue.
In total, 13.22 hectares were sold for €5.9 million, or an average of €446,000 per hectare.
The money will go to the Libourne Horse-Racing Society, whose president is Stephane d’Arfeuille, the former owner of Chateau La Pointe.
Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux