A single hectare of Burgundy grand cru vines may cost up to €14.5 million, according to the latest figures from French land agency Safer.
It said the average price was €6.25m per hectare in 2018, up by 4% on 2017 and double the price from 2011.
That kept Burgundy grands crus top of the French vineyard price ladder last year, despite the wide disparity in the value of deals. Some grand cru hectares were available for a comparatively low €2.85m, said Safer.
There has previously been concern about the effect of rising land prices on succession planning for family owners in Burgundy.
Top appellations in demand
Other prized French regions also saw price increases in 2018.
In Bordeaux, Pauillac rose by 10% to an average €2.2m and Pomerol jumped by 20% to €1.8m, although Pomerol’s very best plots could sell for up to €3.6m and the cheapest might fetch €1.2m, said Safer.
Buyers have an ‘even greater focus on the most prestigious regions and appellations in spite of the scarcity of opportunities and high prices’, said Alex Hall, founder and MD of the Bordeaux-based Vineyard Intelligence estate agency and advisory firm.
He added that another general trend in 2019 has been the interest among France-based investors, from entrepreneurs to those in wine already.
AOP vineyard prices across France rose by 2.4% in 2018 to an average €147,300 per hectare, according to Safer.
Prices were as low as €5,000 per hectare in parts of Beaujolais.
In the Côte d’Or, vineyards classified under the regional Burgundy appellation could cost as relatively little as €13,000 per hectare, although the best sites might sell for up to €73,000, show Safer figures.
Number of deals falls
Safer’s figures show that the total value of French vineyard deals dropped by 31% in 2018, to €844m. There had been a series of high-level purchases in the previous year, notably in St-Emilion.
The number of vineyard deals fell less sharply in 2018, down by 7.5% to 8,750.
Rise of Provence
Côtes de Provence vineyards in the Var region rose by 10% in price in 2018, to an average €55,000 per hectare, according to Safer figures.
Those in the Littoral zone near to the coast could sell for up to €120,000, it said.
‘The success of Provence rosé, particularly in international markets such as the US, has seen increased demand for vineyards in AOC Côtes de Provence, from both domestic and international investors,’ said Hall.
Buying at the top: Most expensive French vineyards in 2018
Burgundy grand cru: Maximum price €14.5m | Average price €6.25m
Pomerol: Maximum price €3.6m | Average price €1.8m
Burgundy premier cru, white: Maximum price €3m | Average price €1.59m
St-Emilion: Maximum price €3m | Average price €270,000
Pauillac: Maximum price €2.5m | Average price €2.2m
Burgundy premier cru, red: Maximum price €2.25m | Average price €680,000
Champagne, Côte des Blancs: Maximum price €1.8m | Average price €1.58m