Chinese investor buys St-Estèphe château


A Hong Kong company has joined the ranks of Chinese wine estate owners in Bordeaux after securing a deal for cru bourgeois property Château Tour Saint-Fort.

·Buyer Long Fait International plans to expand estate

·Recruits ex-director of St-Emilion Cru Classé estate to run operations

·Average vineyard prices in St-Estèphe are €350,000 per hectare

Hong Kong company Long Fait International is believed to be only the second Chinese investor in the Bordeaux appellation of St Estèphe with its deal for Château Tour Saint-Fort.

The 14-hectare cru bourgeois property, formerly owned by Jean-Louis Laffort, is in the northern part of St-Estèphe near to Châteaux de Pez and Le Tour de Pez.

A price was not disclosed, but average vineyard prices in St-Estèphe were €350,000 per hectare in 2014, according to the latest data available from France’s Safer land agency.

Long Fait International joins Yi Zhu & Hongtao Yu, who bought Château Vieux Coutelin in St-Estèphe in 2013.

The deal also follows closely after Alibaba founder Jack Ma bought Château de Sours and serial Bordeaux investor Peter Kwok acquired Château Le Rey in Castillon.

Château Tour Saint-Fort was almost entirely destroyed during the World War Two. Previous owner Laffort recreated the property in 1992 by bringing together Cru la Tour du Château Pineau and parts of Château Saint-Estèphe. These parts were owned by the Calon family in the 18th century.

Eddie Yuan, of Langan Consulting, the agency responsible for the sale, told, ‘The purchaser has employed a former director of a Grand Cru Classé estate in St-Emilion to run the château. He intends to continue the current sales system with one third sold direct in France, one third through Bordeaux merchants and one third sold in China.’

Yuan also confirmed that Long Fait International wants to enlarge the estate to between 25 and 30 hectares and is in the process of looking for other St-Estèphe vines to purchase.

There are also plans to renovate the cellars and vinification buildings to assure a reception capacity for 30 hectares of vines.

Langhan Consulting was also responsible for the purchase of Château Loudenne by the Group Moutai in 2012.

Translated by Sylvia Wu / 吴嘉溦

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