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Château Climens gets new majority owner after stake sale

Climens owner Bérénice Lurton has sold a majority stake to the Moitry family, via its Patrimonia Développement company, but she will retain an advisory role at the acclaimed biodynamic producer of Barsac sweet wines in Bordeaux.

Château Climens owner Lurton has sold a majority stake in the prestigious, Barsac-based estate to Jean-Hubert Moitry and his family, via the family’s Patrimonia Développement group, it was announced this week.

It marks the Moitry family’s first investment in the wine sector, and represents a major deal in the Bordeaux wine world. Financial details weren’t disclosed.

Nicknamed ‘Lord of Barsac’, Climens is one of the Premier Grand Cru Classé estates of Sauternes and Barsac listed in Bordeaux’s 1855 Classification.

Bérénice Lurton will continue to have an advisory role at Climens, working in partnership with the new majority owner. Long-standing technical director Frédéric Nivelle will also remain in place, said a statement.

‘Although I wished to free myself from the functions of manager, I will passionately accompany my new partners in this adventure,’ Lurton said.

‘I am particularly glad that Jean-Hubert Moitry and his family have chosen Climens, and infinitely relieved knowing we share the same human values, the same enthusiasm and the same vision.’

Under Lurton’s guidance, Climens has been a pioneer of biodynamics in Bordeaux.

While sweet wines made from the estate’s 31-hectare Sémillon vineyard continue to be critically-acclaimed, the estate has also joined a trend in the wider Sauternes region for releasing new dry white wines. It launched Asphodèle with the 2018 vintage.

Lurton added, ‘I have always considered myself more as the temporary guardian of Climens than as its owner, a patron in the remarkable history of the estate. Following in the footsteps of my father and each previous owner, I took the utmost care of this jewel with pride, love and uncompromising standards, relying on the savoir-faire of the men and women who work these lands.’

Jean-Hubert Moitry described the deal as the realisation of a long-standing family dream and said his brother, Jerôme, will help to manage the estate.

‘My wife Catherine comes from a family of wine merchants from Meymac in Corrèze,’ he said.

‘As wine lovers, we wanted to invest in an exceptional estate, with irreproachable characteristics and quality, in a perspective of family ownership and management, with a very long-term vision and ambition.

‘Château Climens meets all these conditions: the quality of its terroir, the secular durability of the estate, the excellence of its management and the fact that it has been owned by the Lurton family for over 50 years, have motivated our decision and our commitment.’

Last year, Sauternes estate Château Guiraud also announced a new majority owner.

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