Write a feature on finding value in St-Emilion, the editor said. It doesn’t exist was my instant reply. The name alone carries a premium, conjuring up everything from images of the heavily visited medieval town itself and the accolade of UNESCO World Heritage site, to legendary names like Châteaux Ausone and Cheval Blanc. Properties are small, 8ha the average size, and land prices rarely fall below €200,000 per hectare with some running to millions. Value: you must be joking.