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Cru Bourgeois Medoc chateau sold to Chinese investor

Chateau Preuillac has become the latest Bordeaux wine property acquired by a Chinese investor, after its owner families decided to sell following two difficult vintages.

The investor, who has not been named at this stage, finalised a deal to buy 100% of the 30-hectare estate on 3 December.

The purchase comes in the same month that Decanter.com learned China’s New Century Tourism Group has agreed to acquire Chateau Birot, a Cadillac Cotes de Bordeaux estate. Both deals suggest Chinese investors remain keen to acquire Bordeaux wine properties, albeit with a focus on more affordable estates.

A source familiar with the Preuillac deal told Decanter.com that the buyer has already acquired two other Bordeaux estates this year and is involved in several others via partnerships. But, this is believed to be the investor’s first purchase in Medoc.

Preuillac, based near the commune of Lesparre-Medoc, was previously a 50-50 joint-venture between the Mau family – former owner of negociant Yvon Mau – and the Dirkzwager family, of the namesake Dutch spirits company.

Jean Christophe Mau said that he will remain as manager of Chateau Preuillac for ‘at least one year, possibly longer.’ He declined to comment on the identity of the buyer.

‘At first we were only looking to sell the 50% of the shares that the Dirkzwagers were looking to dispose of, but in the end this investor wanted to buy the chateau in its entirety,’ he said.

He added that the low yield in 2013, and the hail that destroyed large parts of the crop in 2014, both influenced the decision to sell.

Although the price was not disclosed, Mau said it was in the ‘middle to upper range of land values for a good cru bourgeois’.
That means it is likely to be somewhere between €300,000 and €500,000 per hectare.

Preuillac’s wines were previously sold exclusively through Yvon Mau. This is unlikely to continue, but Mau said the new owners intend to retain traditional distribution channels for the wine across many markets.

The Mau and Dirkzwager family remain owners of Chateau Brown in Pessac Leognan.

Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux

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