How many Bordeaux Vineyards have been purchased by the Chinese?
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At Maxwell-Storrie-Baynes we made a commitment many years ago that we summed up in our company motto to “Bring Bordeaux to the World and the World to Bordeaux.” At no time has this commitment been clearer to us than over the last three years working with numerous Chinese and Asian buyers. Our “China Desk” manned by Li Lijuan (Lily – pictured) is responsible for our Chinese relationships and communications and to ensure that Chinese clients are given the same professional treatment and education that we offer to all our international clients. A Bordeaux veteran of five years, Lily speaks English, French and Chinese fluently and comes to us with a Masters in Wine management and hands on experience having overseen a major Bordeaux vineyard estate for a Chinese investor.

Bordeaux VineyardsIn 2008 the Bordeaux Chamber of Commerce invited our Karin Maxwell to join their delegation representing Bordeaux during Hong Kong VinExpo . Bordeaux had rightly understood that taking their wine products and vineyards to China would fan the flames of the Chinese interest in the region. Karin was able to present a range of vineyard properties to enthusiastic audiences and so began our relationship with the Far East.A common question is; how many vineyards have the Chinese purchased in Bordeaux VineyardBordeaux? We have compiled a list of all of the Chinese sales that have taken place in Bordeaux dating back to the first; Chateau Haut Brisson, sold to Peter Kwok in 2007. Although Mr Kwok is very much involved in Chinese business and culture he is in fact a native of Taiwan. Looking at the table we have focused primarily on Chinese buyers but there have been other sales to Asians from Singapore, Indonesia and Japan. It is not always possible to discern precisely where buyers come from, even when we are the professionals handling the transaction. This is because business addresses or indeed the geographical sources of the purchase funds are not always the same as the owners’.

Bordeaux VineyardsIncluding Mr Kwok, the total number of Chinese sales to date is 40 vineyard chateaux; however, the total of all Asian sales we estimate is over 50 Bordeaux chateaux. To put that into perspective it is just over 0.5% of the Bordeaux vineyard inventory, so a small slice of the total. What is remarkable however, is the number that have sold over the last two years. From the beginning of 2011 to the present date there have been 34 Bordeaux vineyards sold to Chinese A common question is; how many vineyards have the Chinese purchased in Bordeaux? We have compiled a list of all of the Chinese sales that have taken place in Bordeaux dating back to the first; Chateau Haut Brisson, sold to Peter Kwok in 2007. Although Mr Kwok is very much involved in Chinese business and culture he is in fact a native of Taiwan. Looking at the table we have focused primarily on Chinese buyers but there have been other sales to Asians from Singapore, Indonesia and Japan. It is not always possible to discern precisely where buyers come from, even when we are the professionals handling the transaction. This is because business addresses or indeed the geographical sources of the purchase funds are not always the same as the owners’. Including Mr Kwok, the total number of Chinese sales to date is 40 vineyard chateaux; however, the total of all Asian sales we estimate is over 50 Bordeaux chateaux.

To put that into perspective it is just over 0.5% of the Bordeaux vineyard inventory, so a small slice of the total. What is remarkable however, is the number that have sold over the last two years. From the beginning of 2011 to the present date there have been 34 Bordeaux chateaux vineyards sold to Chinese buyers – an average of more than one per month.This is the big Bordeaux – Chinese story; the pace of the purchasing has been impressive and it has come at a propitious time for Bordeaux as a region and an industry – underwriting its recovery and re-emergence as the world’s premiere wine region. Following a strong 2012 (including the sale of Chateau du Grand Moueys pictured above) Maxwell-Storrie-Baynes are seeing this Chinese purchasing pace continue into 2013, already in the first 3 months of this year we have sold three chateaux vineyards to Chinese buyer and we are aware of over 10 other sales that are in process. China and Asia as a whole is a very different culture to that of Europe.

We take our role as professionals very seriously recognizing the importance of learning to be thoughtful ambassadors. The “invitation only” affiliation with Christie’s underwrites our position as market leaders with all necessary legal licenses and qualifications to trade real estate in France. In addition we have formed important alliances with outstanding professionals of similar standing and reputation. Lily of course oversees our “China Desk” but we also work closely with Landscope-Christie’s Hong Kongwww.landscope-christies.comas well as being the exclusive Bordeaux vineyard agent to Morgan Stanley Private Finance Hong Kong and Sotheby’s International Real Estate Hong Kong, both of whom selected us to advise and represent their clients in Bordeaux. Below is our attempt to provide the definitive list of chateaux vineyards purchased by Chinese buyers in Bordeaux.

Written by Michael Baynes

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