Bordeaux vineyards are known all over the world for their quality and the richness of the terroir. Several countries come to the region to acquire an estate, or even several, like the Chinese, the first investors in the sector (with 47% of foreign purchases) to which one thinks spontaneously. But another country that is thought of a little less also takes possession of some areas of great vintages, and represents 21% of these investments. This is Belgium, fond of French wines and especially those of the Bordeaux region.
Belgians are looking for beautiful wine-producing properties, and are very sensitive to the terroir. Safe values, authentic tastes, they are great lovers of Bordeaux wines and buy estates to export part of the production to their country. Indeed, Belgians are very attentive to what they buy, and are more inclined to put the price when they are sure of the quality of the wine, which they prefer fine and elegant. The country is also the third largest export market for Bordeaux wines with a volume of 224,000 hectolitres. In Belgium, the consumption of alcohol and communication around wines and other alcohols is not the same as in France: in fact, the French Evin law has no equivalent in Belgium.
The Bordeaux estates have successively had French, English, German, Dutch or Chinese owners.
Justin ONCLIN or Éric ALBADA-JELGERSMA are for example the respective owners of the Villemaurine estates (Grand Cru Classé Saint-Emilion) and Giscours (Grand Cru Classé Margaux), but they are not the only buyers of wineries: we could also quote Michel CHOQUET, owner of Château Lagrange Les Tours since 2001, or Albert FRIER, owner of the famous Cheval Blanc estate which is the first Grand Cru Classé de Saint-Emilion. And the purchase of such estates becomes a heritage, a heritage and a passion for wine that is passed down from generation to generation, even in the “Plat Pays”.
Bordeaux is internationalizing, on 10,000 domains, more than 200 have been bought by wealthy foreigners, and this will not stop. The economic crisis has slowed down foreign investment in French wineries, except for Bordeaux vineyards, which saw their purchases increase by more than 66%: 80 between 2006 and 2010 compared to 120 between 2011 and 2015, figures mainly due to the Chinese, who have been buying up Bordeaux estates and castles in recent years.
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