A one hundred year old horse racing course, located among the vines of Pomerol, is on the market.
The Hippodrome de Canterou, in the town of Libourne but located in AOC Pomerol very close to Chateau Bonalgue and Chateau La Pointe, is due to close at the end of the year due to financial difficulties, and is being put up for sale.
This means that there could potentially be 13 hectares of new vineyard land in one of Bordeaux’s most sought after appellations.
There are as yet no official plans for the land. There are currently no rights for construction on the site, or planting rights for vines, but any eventual buyer will be able to apply for either one.
‘This is an exceptional challenge,’ Jean Marie Garde, president of the Syndicate Viticole of Pomerol, told decanter.com.
‘We believe that there were vines on at least part of this plot in the 19th century, before construction began on the race course, and we will work with any purchasers to apply to the INAO for rights to plant.
‘But for the Syndicate this is not about individual rights, but a desire to protect this appellation from developers,’ he added.
There are suggestions that a group of local winemakers may try together to purchase the land, and then split it between them.
The best vineyard land in the area reaches up to €3m per hectare, but as this is currently agricultural with no planting rights, it is likely to go for around €1m per hectare.
‘This is right in the heart of a tiny appellation that is currently 780ha of vines, and to be able to increase that would be extraordinary,’ said Garde.
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Written by Jane Anson