A Review of the Chateaux Purchased in the Entre Deux Mers by Chinese Investors

So far three chateaux have been purchased by Chinese investors in the Entre Deux Mers and all three have the advantage of being beautiful buildings. Two of the three are run as guest houses as well as producing wine and are venues for weddings and conferences.

Chateau de Grand Branet in Capian was bought by Cheng Qu and is one of 4 chateaux that he has purchased as part of his plans to open a theme park based on wine in Dailan, China. This chateau was built in the 1600s and is set in a 5 hectare park containing woodlands, meadows and fishing ponds on a limestone escarpment overlooking the River Garonne.

Capian lies at the heart of a triangle between Creon, Cadillac and Langoiran and the chateau’s vineyard covers 3 hectares.

It’s previous owners were Blanche and Denis Mainvielle and Chateau de Grand Branet has five guest rooms available and can accommodate up to ten people. The Mainvielle’s bought the chateau in 1991 when it was close to becoming a ruin. They renovated the buildings and have been producing red wines under the Premières Côtes de Bordeaux and Clairet since 1996. The grapes grown are Merlot 72% and Cabernet Sauvignon 28%.

Chateau de Cugat was bought by a Chinese collective and lies near Blasimon. This is an ancient estate dating back to the late 1400s, possibly even earlier to the 13th century, and was owned by Benoît Meyer whose grandmother bought the esate in 1926. The chateau stands upon a hill overlooking the village of Blasimon.

The vineyards surround the Château and the grapes grown are Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Gris, Semillon and Muscadelle. The wines produced are Bordeaux Superieur Rouge, Rosé andBordeaux Blanc. Try as I might I can not find out how many hectares Chateau de Cugat has under vine so if anyone knows please get in touch!

Chateau Lezongars has also been sold according to Decanter.com. Lezongars is a 45 hectare estate in Villenave de Rions and was owned by British couple Philip and Sarah Iles who bought it in 1998. The chateau was built in the 18th century by the French architect Huthil, who was inspired by the architecture of antique Palladian villas.

The Iles embarked on an ambitious plan of investment in the chateau and this has paid off with the award winning wines being recognised by the press and critics alike. Michel Puzio (of Chateau Croix de Labrie, Grand Cru St Emilion) and Luc Thunevin (Chateau Valandraud) have acted as consultant oenologists and the grapes grown are 60% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon and a small proportion of Cabernet Franc.

There is also a white Lezongars – a blend of oak-fermented Semillon and Sauvignon, as well as a second label, Château de Roques, (red, white and rosé). Although the vineyard is predominantly AOC Premieres Cotes de Bordeaux the chateau does make a small quality Sauternes from the hectare situated in that appellation. The chateau also catered for weddings, conferences and private events.

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