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Bordeaux vineyard prices up 10pc in 2011

Deals for prestigious wine-growing areas spark rise in the average price of Bordeaux vineyards.

Investor thirst for key wine-growing areas drove up the average price of vineyard land in Bordeaux by 10% last year, official figures show.

Buyers paid an average €76,000 (US$94,400) per hectare in 2011, according to French agency SAFER, which records all land transactions across France.

However, vineyard prices varied sharply depending on location. A simple AOC Bordeaux red or white could be picked up for €15,000 per hectare last year, down €1,000 from 2010, while the best vineyard land in Pauillac fetched €1.65m per hectare, up 65% in just one year.

Elsewhere on the Left Bank, Pessac Leognan red almost doubled its price to €330,000 per hectare. Yet, the neighbouring Graves region remained at around €27,000 per hectare.

‘You have two factors squeezing prices in the top appellations,’ Michael Baynes of vineyard experts Maxwell-Storrie-Baynes told Decanter.com. ‘These are both outside investors from places like China and local chateaux owners, who are buying up plots of vines to increase the size of their own estates and take advantage of the current buoyant demand.’

Baynes said there were 35 chateaux sold over 2011, according to SAFER, plus a number of individual parcels of vines.
Over on Bordeaux’s Right Bank, AOC Pomerol was sold for an average of €900,000 per hectare in 2011, and AOC Saint Emilion for around €200,000. AOC Sauternes saw very little movement, remaining at around €50,000 per hectare.

In comparison, a Burgundy Grand Cru cost around €3m per hectare in 2009, with 1er cru white around €1.1m and 1er cru red €450,000. A single hectare of AOC Borgogne was €31,000 per hectare. But, the average size of vineyard land bought was just 63 ares, and 41 ares in the Côte d’Or.

Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux

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