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Burgundy grand cru vines selling for 9.5m euros per hectare

Burgundy enhanced its reputation as the home of France's most expensive vineyards in 2013, according to government figures showing price rises across much of the region.

Clos des Lambrays: recently bought by luxury goods giant LVMH

Vineyard prices in the Cote d’Or rose by 5% on average last year versus 2012, to €515,600 per hectare.

But, there was wide disparity based on prestige. An appellation Bourgogne regionale vineyard cost €34,000 per hectare (ha) on average, up 6% on 2012, while the same amount of grand cru vineyard cost an average €4m, up by 5% on the previous year.

The best grand cru vineyards cost as much as €9.5m per ha, said a French government report, taking figures from the ‘Safer’ agency that governs agricultural land transactions. 

Its analysis will do little to allay fears among some Burgundy winemakers that future generations of their families could be priced out of the best vineyards, in part due to succession tax based on land values.

‘Our concern is that, in a couple of years, family domaines will have to sell their vineyards to big financial groups,’ Caroline Parent-Gros, of Domaine AF Gros, said in the July issue of Decanter magazine.

Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton is believed to have paid around €100m for 8.66ha of Clos des Lambrays grand cru vineyard earlier this year; the Chateau Cheval Blanc and d’Yquem owner’s first foray into Burgundy.

Other notable figures in the government report include average prices for Cote d’Or premier cru rouge and blanc vineyard, which rose by 5% to €525,000 and 4% to €1.27m respectively last year.

Some of the biggest price rises were outside of the Cote d’Or. In Yonne, the average price of Chablis premier cru vineyard rose by 22% to €316,000. 

Burgundy is thought to contain the most expensive vineyards in France. In Bordeaux, the Pauillac appellation houses the most expensive vineyard land, with an average price of €2m per hectare, according to an earlier report by DecanterChina.com.

Read a debate on Burgundy vineyard prices in this month’s Decanter magazine, out now. Click here to subscribe Decanter magazine.

Written by Chris Mercer

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