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Bordeaux’s La Winery tourism centre to be sold

One of the Medoc’s biggest wine tourism ventures, La Winery, is to change hands this summer after owner Philippe Raoux agreed to sell.

Consumers at La Winery in Medoc. Image credit: La Winery

Raoux, who developed La Winery and opened the doors to the centre for art, music, food and wine in 2007, told Decanter.com that he will sell the project to the ‘Merlaut/Lurton group’ in order to concentrate on other projects.

While it is not yet confirmed, that is thought to be a reference to Claire Villars-Lurton, niece of Antoine Merlaut, and her husband, Gonzague Lurton.

‘I bought the land for La Winery in 2003 to build this wine tourism centre, and to provide a base for my negociant and mail order wine business,’ Raoux said. ‘Now it’s time for me to concentrate on my family.’

Financial details have not been disclosed.

Raoux, whose family live in Paris, is still owner of Chateau d’Arsac in AOC Margaux. He also owns the Winemaker’s Collection, a collaborative project where a portion of Arsac vines are vinified each year by different leading winemakers, including Michel Rolland and Zelma Long. This project remains with the Raoux family.

Plans for La Winery were first revealed in 2005. Arsac’s architect, Patrick Hernandez, drew up blueprints for the €10m centre, to be located Arsac and Castelnau du Medoc, to the west of the Margaux appellation.

In 2011, Raoux sold his Pomerol property, Chateau de Viaud, to the Chinese group COFCO.

Both the Merlauts and Lurtons are already significant vineyard owners in Bordeaux, counting among their estates Gruaud-Larose, Chasse Spleen, Durfot Vivens and Haut-Bages Liberal.

Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux

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