{"api":{"host":"https:\/\/pinot.decanter.com","authorization":"Bearer MWRiNTZlOWMxY2E3ZjYyMGQwODYyNTlkYjdiNTY5NmUyMjQ3MTJjYmM5MjI2OGEzMzVkZjBhZjNkMjlkMThhNw","version":"2.0"},"piano":{"sandbox":"false","aid":"6qv8OniKQO","rid":"RJXC8OC","offerId":"OFPHMJWYB8UK","offerTemplateId":"OFPHMJWYB8UK","wcTemplateId":"OTOW5EUWVZ4B"}}

Updated: Richest French wine château owners revealed – 2016

LVMH owner Bernard Arnault is around four billion euros poorer in 2016 versus 2015, but he's still the second richest person in France, according to the new French rich list by Challenges magazine. See which other château and vineyard owners made the list.

This list has been expanded and updated from Jane Anson’s original story published in 2015. Updates and editing by Chris Mercer.

Bernard Arnault, who’s Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton empire includes names such as Krug, Dom Perignon and Cheval Blanc, was beaten into second place on the annual French rich list by L’Oreal’s Liliane Bettancourt.

But, he is still the richest French wine château owner.

French magazine Challenges estimated Arnault’s fortune at €30.3 billion, down from €34.6bn in its 2015 rich list.

Around one in 10 of those listed are connected to French wine châteaux and vineyards.

Here are some of the most prominent names:

  • Serge Dassault, whose family owns Chateau Dassault in St-Emilion alongside the aeronautical business, remains at number five but has seen his fortune rise to €20bn in 2016, from with €17.5bn last year.

  • The Wertheimer brothers, of Chanel and owners of Château Rauzan Ségla and Château Canon in Bordeaux are up one place to sixth, with €16.5bn.

  • Château Latour owner Francois Pinault is seventh, also up one place versus 2015 despite losing money. He has an estimated fortune of €11.7bn, down €1bn on last year, through parent company Kering. Pinault also owns Araujo Estate in Napa Valley.

  • Pierre Castel, the wine and beer magnate who turns 90 in October, is up three places to eighth. He has a fortune of €8bn, versus €7.5bn in 2015.

  • Vincent Bolloré is 10th with €7.3bn, down one place versus 2015 after losing a third of his fortune in the past 12 months. His namesake firm has a 39% stake in Socfin Group, one of the world’s biggest plantation owners, alongside various media and transport investments. It owns several estates in southern France, including Domaine de la Croix and Domaine de la Bastide Blanche in Provence.

  • François Perrodo, of Château Labegorce and energy company Perenco, remains 12th in 2016 with an estimated fortune of €7bn.

  • There’s special mention for the Ricard family in 21st place. It is the biggest single shareholder in publicly listed Pernod Ricard with a 13% stake. Pernod Ricard doesn’t deal in French wine but does own Campo Viejo in Spain, Brancott Estate in New Zealand, Jacob’s Creek in Australia and Graffigna in Argentina.

  • Robert Peugeot, who still holds 14% of the namesake car manufacturer and is co-owner of Château Guiraud in Sauternes, is 23rd with an estimated fortune of €2.8bn. He had €3.6bn last year.

  • The Bouygues brothers of Château Montrose fell three places to 30th in 2016. But they only lost 4% of their fortune, bringing them in at €2.3bn. They own 20% of their namesake telecoms giant.

  • At 37 is the Hériard-Dubreuil family of Rémy Cointreau, with a fortune of €2bn in 2016, up 20% on 2015.


More of the richest French château owners

  • The Faiveley family, of Domaine Faiveley in Burgundy, jumped 20 places to 86, with a fortune of €800m. The family had €620m last year.

  • Philippe Sereys de Rothschild and family, of Château Mouton Rothschild, are ranked at 88, down one place on 2015, with €750m.

  • Frederic Rouzaud, of Champagne Louis Roederer, is at 93, up two places, with €720m.

  • Bernard Magrez, owner of Château Pape Clement and of several wine estates around the world, has leapt 13 places to 94. His fortune has risen to €700m, versus €600m in 2015.

  • Corinne Mentzelopoulos, of Château Margaux, is ranked at 103 – up one place – with €650m.

  • Eric de Rothschild and family, of Château Lafite Rothschild, is down 22 places from 2015 at 160. The family has €420m, according to Challenges.

  • Hubert de Boüard de LaForest and family, of Château Angelus in St-Emilion, is at 259 – down 21 places on 2015 – but still with €280m.

  • Marcel Guigal, of the eponymous Rhône wine house has dropped 24 places on 2015 to 277. But he still has a €250m fortune.

  • Henry-Frederic Roch, of the Leroy family that owns 25% of Domaine de la Romanee Conti, dropped five places from his debut appearance in top 500. He is at 397 in 2016 with €160m, but increased his fortune by nearly a fifth versus last year.

  • It’s been a relatively good year for the Pol Roger and de Billy families, of Champagne Pol Roger. They’re at 379, up from 392 in 2015, having increased their fortune by 22% to €165m.

See the full 500 wealthiest people in France published by Challenges magazine.

More stories:

LVMH buys Burgundy grand cru vineyard

French luxury goods group LVMH has acquired the vast majority of one of Burgundy's oldest grand cru vineyards, Clos des

Latest Wine News