Chanel to make Provence rosé after winery purchase

Fashion house Chanel is to produce rosé wine on the French Riviera after agreeing to buy Domaine de L’Ile on the island of Porquerolles, according to reports.

Chanel, which is controlled by the Wertheimer family, has purchased Domaine de L’Ile for an undisclosed fee, according to French publication Terre de Vins.

It quoted Nicolas Audebert, the manager of Chanel-owned Châteaux Canon and Rauzan-Ségla in Bordeaux who will now also oversee operations at the newly acquired estate.

Chanel’s arrival on Porquerolles is another sign of the rising popularity of Provence rosé styles.

Rosé constitutes around 70% of production at Domaine de L’Ile, which makes a Côtes de Provence rosé wine including Grenache and Mourvèdre, plus Cinsault, Syrah and Tibouren.

It also makes a white wine entirely from Rolle, also known as Vermentino, plus a red wine from Syrah and Grenache.

The estate, which has 34 hectares of vines, was founded by Francois-Joseph Fournier in 1911, after he used wealth accrued from mining in Mexico to buy the island of Porquerolles.

France’s government stepped in to purchase the majority of the island later in the 20th Century, but Fournier’s descendants continued to make wine at their estate. They expanded operations after agreeing to rent extra land from the authorities in the 1987, according to the winery.

The family, today headed by Fournier’s grandson, Sébastien Le Ber, will retain a 10% stake in the estate following the decision to sell to Chanel, according to Terre de Vins.

The deal follows Chanel’s purchase of St Supéry in Napa Valley from the Skalli family in 2015.