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O. Fournier offers ‘dream’ plots in Mendoza

O. Fournier, the high-end Spanish-Chilean-Argentinian venture, has earmarked 140ha of vines in Mendoza to be sold to private individuals in small plots.

The O Fournier winery in the foothills of the Andes

O. Fournier Wine Partners, owner José Manuel Ortega says, is a project whereby one- to three-hectare plots, at Finca Santa Sofia in the Uco Valley 1,200m above sea level, are sold to a maximum of 85 investors.

While the winery will look after every aspect of vineyard management and vinification, investors will ‘truly own the vineyard’, Ortega told Decanter.com.

‘They truly own a vineyard next to our property and we do the maintenance for them. They can also produce a wine with their own brand and they can come to do the blend with our staff.’

Ortega says they have already sold ten plots at US$150,000 per hectare. Once the plot has been bought, he says, there is no other expense, and the investor can expect a return of between 4% and 8%.

While vineland in this part of Argentina is about a third of that price, it is impossible to buy plots of only three hectares, and the added infrastructure costs would take the price per hectare far higher, Ortega said.

Grapes can be sold back to the winery or used – either entirely or in part – by investors to blend their own wines with their own labels.

‘And they do not have to put any more money in as the income from the grapes pays for the expenses.’

A ‘select group’ of investors, Ortega said, will have the opportunity to build their own villa on the site; a 36-room hotel is also being planned.

Some 40ha of vines are already planted to Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo, Merlot, Syrah and Sauvignon Blanc, while newer investors will be able to choose which variety they want.

‘I’m replicating my own experience when I first planted here. I’ll never forget planting my own vines,’ the former investment banker, who purchased land in Mendoza in 2000, said.

‘I truly believe it is a great idea for wine lovers who always wanted to own a vineyard and make their own wines with their own labels without the hassle of having to run it themselves. For $150,000 a hectare, they can make their dream real,’ Ortega said.

Christie’s International Real Estate is handling marketing and sales.

O. Fournier produces wine in the Uco Valley in Argentina, Maule in Chile and Ribera del Duero in Spain.

Written by Adam Lechmere

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