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Chinese hotel group to buy 37ha Bordeaux estate

One of China's largest hotel companies, New Century Tourism Group, has provisionally agreed to buy Chateau de Birot in the Cadillac Cotes de Bordeaux appellation, as Chinese investors continue to pursue vineyard deals across France.

Christie’s Real Estate is understood to have brokered the sale of the 37-hectare property, which is owned by Eric and Helene Fournier-Casteja and has been run by their son, Arthur, since 2010.

The sale to New Century Tourism is set to be formally signed off at a ceremony on 19 December. Financial details have not been disclosed at this stage.

The deal shows ongoing Chinese interest in vineyard acquisitions in France, especially in Bordeaux, but it is also evidence of buyers seeking better value for money, rather than focusing solely on the top appellations or grands crus estates.

Chateau de Birot is located just outside the walled town of Cadillac and is set on the slopes overlooking the Garonne river.

New Century Tourism is owned by Chinese billionaire Chen Miaolin. It claims on its website to be one of the top hotel groups in China, which could prove an important distribution network for Chateau de Birot wines. It has 132 hotels of its own and 60 that it runs on behalf of clients.

News of the deal comes less than a week after it emerged that another Chinese company, BHC International Wine Assets Management, has acquired Chateau La Bastide in the Corbieres region of Languedoc-Roussillon.

A trade source familiar with the deal told sister website DecanterChina.com that BHC paid €6m for the estate, which includes around 60 hectares of vines. More deals in both Languedoc and Cotes du Rhone were also in the pipeline, DecanterChina reported.

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