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Christie’s launches vineyard sales service

Christie’s is launching a service to help prospective buyers of vineyard estates.

A winery for sale in Ribera del Duero

Vineyards by Christie’s International Real Estate
will be introduced at the Hong Kong Christie’s Fine & Rare Wines sales on 25 May and then rolled out globally.

Christie’s says that demand from affluent Chinese investors for foreign wine has extended to a growing interest in foreign wine-producing estates.

According to the French rural land development organisation Safer (Sociétés d’Aménagement Foncier et d’Etablissement Rural), in 2011 there were 35 châteaux with vineyards sold in the Bordeaux region, of which 60% were sold to Chinese buyers, and of the 37 vineyard-châteaux sold in 2012, 62% went to Chinese buyers.

Michael Baynes of Maxwell-Storrie-Baynes, Christie’s International Real Estate affiliate in Bordeaux, said: ‘Many of our Chinese clients have stated that they have initially purchased something relatively inexpensive in Bordeaux to establish a presence and learn about the system here. Once they have built their confidence we have been told that they will purchase again, and most likely at a more prestigious/expensive level.

‘That process has now started with the recent sale to the Chinese of Château Bellefont Belcier, the St-Emilion Grand Cru Classé, reported to have sold for about €30m,’ Baynes said.

According to Baynes, St Emilion Grand Cru Château La Mouleyre was reportedly sold to Chinese buyers for about €3.5m, Grand Cru Château Quercy for about €5m and Château Bernadotte for more than €10m.

‘We believe we will continue to see Chinese vineyard purchases in Bordeaux for some time to come,’ he added.

Christie’s most expensive vineyard sale to date has been in the Uco Valley in Argentina, at US$150,000 per hectare (ha). This compares with California prices where the average price in the Edna Valley and Paso Robles is US$$86,633–$148,515 per ha for planted land.

Written by Laura Ivill

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