Château Franc Mayne has become the latest high profile Bordeaux winery to be sold, with French businessman Jean-Pierre Savare and his family buying control of the St-Emilion Grand Cru Classé estate.
Jean-Pierre Savare, a Paris-based businessman and chairman of Oberthur Finance, has acquired the seven-hectare Château Franc Mayne on the St-Emilion plateau. It had been owned by Griet Van Malderen and Hervé Laviale since 2005.
A fee was not disclosed. It is the latest in a string of winery deals in Bordeaux, and St-Emilion specifically, over the last 12 months.
Close to Beau-Séjour Bécot or Grand Mayne, Franc Mayne’s soils are composed of limestone and clay-limestone slopes. It is 90 percent Merlot and 10 percent Cabernet Franc.
The estate had been on sale for several months, but a deal took extra time to sort out due to negotiations over whether other properties in Pomerol and Lussac should be included. Savare has bought Franc Mayne without those other properties.
He was already a minority shareholder in the estate, together with Martine Cazeneuve and the Cazeneuve family, from Château Paloumey in Haut-Médoc. Savare has asked Martine Cazeneuve to guide the direction of Franc Mayne.
He said that he was seduced by the estate’s location and highlighted opportunities for wine tourism. A bed and breakfast, the Relais de Franc Mayne, already operates on the property.
There are plans to invest in the vineyards.
‘This property is beautiful, and is in a good general condition, but it was a little asleep while waiting for its new owner,’ Cazeneuve told Decanter.com.
‘We’re going to restructure the vineyard. It will be a long-term project.’