It said the buyers were the Helfrich winemaking family and also a ‘French institutional investor’, which has purchased the land at the 80-hectare fifth growth estate.
A fee for the deal was not disclosed, but the sale of a classified winery in Médoc is still relatively rare.
‘It doesn’t happen every day,’ said Alexander van Beek, managing director of Giscours, Caiarossa and, until recently, du Tertre.
‘It was a hard decision because it was a property very close to the heart of the family,’ said van Beek, who also had his own wedding at du Tertre.
But he told Decanter the move was in the best interests of both du Tertre and Giscours, a third growth estate in the 1855 Classification.
He said it was difficult to give adequate attention to two châteaux within the same appellation yet with quite different styles.
A decision to sell du Tertre emerged from discussions on long-term strategy among the new generation of the family following the death of Eric Albada Jelgersma in 2018. He had acquired the two Margaux estates in the 1990s.
Van Beek said du Tertre ‘needed to be woken up’ when it was first acquired by Eric Albada Jelgersma and that the family had invested heavily in the past two decades, including by restructuring 70% of the vineyards.
The sale will help the fifth growth to ‘liberate itself from the shadow of Giscours’, he said.
A statement released by AJ Domaines praised the wine sector skill and passion of the Helfrich family. Alongside the family’s history in Alsace wine, Joseph Helfrich founded French wine group Les Grands Chais de France in 1979. Du Tertre will continue to be distributed via the Place de Bordeaux, AJ Domaines said.
AJ Domaines plans to redouble its efforts around the redevelopment and improvement of Giscours. ‘There is an enormous determination to really put Giscours where it belongs,’ van Beek said.
While a lot of work has been done on the vineyards, plans include work on new cellars at the estate, which spans nearly 400 hectares of land.
The statement by AJ Domaines also highlighted the family’s ambition at Caiarossa in Tuscany, and added that it would have the flexibility to ‘seize opportunities’ in other areas or continents, too.