Skip to comments.Chinese buy their favourite Bordeaux by the vineyard
Posted on 10/26/2011 11:54:46 PM PDT by Cardhu
With its fairytale turrets and a 15th-Century tower, Chateau Latour Laguens is surrounded by vineyards in a region steeped in European tradition.
But this chateau, south-east of Bordeaux, is also at the cutting edge of Asia's growing economic might.
The staff who tend the vineyards and make the wine are still French, but this is now a Chinese-owned domain.
It has been taken over by the Longhai group based in eastern China, which has created a subsidiary to run it called Chateau Latour-Laguens (Qingdao).
The Chinese are developing a new taste for French wines these days.
And in addition to buying them by the bottle or the case, the Chinese have also started buying the vineyards where their favourite Bordeaux vintages are produced.
Chateau Latour-Laguens was the first estate in Bordeaux to be bought by Chinese investors three years ago, but at least five others are now also Chinese-owned.
"We're looking for the know-how, French technology and culture," said Yilain Xu of Chateau Latour-Laguens (Qingdao).
"Bordeaux is a famous place to make high-quality wine and in China we have more and more people who drink wine, as lifestyles are changing."
The new owners of Chateau Latour-Laguens have invested in the latest wine-making technology, and are renovating the chateau itself, which was somewhat run down before they took over.
But they have been careful to keep the French workers, and have hired an experienced French oenologist, or expert in the science of winemaking, to manage the operation and improve the quality of the wine.
Planting in China
But Chinese companies are not just investing here in Bordeaux, they are also developing winemaking in China, which is now the world's seventh largest producer.
They are even creating chateaux and vineyards that look just like the ones here in France.
(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.co.uk ...
Much to the astonishment of European experts, a wine made in China recently won a major international award in the Bordeaux category, beating its French rivals in a blind tasting.
That has made some Bordeaux wine growers worried about the future."
I would be testing chinese wine for toxic metal contamination, taste regardless.
That said, I wonder if we will see distilleries bought as well. A big percentage are owned by diageo or other drink companies, but I would imagine getting capacity for owning blend makers would be attractive for chinese groups.
I will add, on the final line of the comment, that everyone, everywhere, should be worried about chinese buying pieces of their livelihood over the coming years and decades. They are rich, we are broke, our government is completely for sale, and it is only going to get worse.
Does this mean $2 a bottle Chum-Lee will be on the WalMart shelves?
They could use a drink.