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LVMH buys cult Toro winery

French luxury goods giant Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton has bought cult Toro producer Bodega Numanthia-Termes for an unconfirmed €25m.

This is the company’s first Spanish acquisition since selling its Chandon cava business five years ago.

The deal includes the bodega’s 40ha of vineyards, including the 5ha Termanthia vineyard, which has ungrafted, pre-phylloxera vines planted in the late 19th century.

The vineyard produces the bodega’s flagship wine, also called Termanthia, which was given a 100-point score for its 2004 vintage by Jay Miller in Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate.

Numanthia-Termes produces about 4,000 bottles of Termanthia each year, along with about 40,000 bottles each of Termes and Numanthia. All have been given high scores by influential American critics in particular and are in high demand.

The company confirmed the sale, but would not reveal the purchase price, although sources in France suggested a figure of €25m-plus. The deal also includes the winery and stocks.

Former owners the Eguren family are likely to use the proceeds to invest in a new winemaking project in Toro, where a new winery has recently been completed. They may also use the money to help fund the construction of a new winery at Sierra Cantabria, one of three producers they own in Rioja. The others are Señorio de San Vicente and Viñedos de Paganos.

The sale is further confirmation of the growing stature of the Toro region, which has attracted investment in recent years from leading figures such as Michel Rolland, Jacques and François Lurton, and Bernard Magrez.

And it marks LVMH’s first wine investment in Spain since it sold its Chandon cava business to Freixenet for $12.8m in 2003.

Written by Richard Woodard

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