When I wrote about Social Media and Wine little did I know that a year later a little known chateau would make waves in the wine world through its use of Facebook. Yannick Evenou (Managing Director of the Fayat Vineyards: Château Clément Pichon Haut Medoc, Château la Dominique Saint Emilion and Château Fayat Pomerol) recently purchased Chateau Réaut la Gravière from Champagne Roederer as part of a consortium of 12.
A property sharing group or GFA (Groupe Foncier Agricole) was created and Evenou offered shares in the chateau via Facebook to attract investors.
The name of the chateau was changed to Chateau Réaut and for 1500 euros investors could become part owners of the GFA. The investment equates to 165 vines and 36 bottles per year. 400 members of the public have taken up the offer of shares and their bottles of wine will be labelled with each purchaser’s own name.
Evenou told decanter.com that:
“More than 100 [investors] are from Bordeaux, but we have had interest from all over the world.
They will receive a certain part of the crop, but we will also be distributing the wine through traditional methods. As some of our main shareholders are merchants and restaurant owners, we have good distribution channels in place.”
According to Decanter other members of the main buying consortium include local Bordeaux restaurant owner Daniel Cuny, and several Burgundy negociants.
Chateau Réaut has 26 hectares of vines and produces wines under the Premiers Cotes de Bordeaux AOC. I have not been able to discover much about this mysterious little chateau – the Rouzaud family of Champagne House Louis Roederer bought Chateau Pichon Lalande in 2007 and with it Chateau Bernadotte. They bought Chateau de Pez in 1995 and Haut Beauséjour in 1992. I am not sure when Chateau Réaut la Gravière was added to their portfolio.
Chateau Réaut is listed as being located in Paillet and there are records of a Chateau Réaut La Gravière in Rions which is not far away, producing red, white and rosé wines, belonging to Alain Réaut up until 2007. Whether this is one and the same I can not tell and I am left wondering why the chateau was not better marketed by Roederer once they acquired it?
I must admit that even the information on Chateau Réaut’s Facebook page is sparse – let’s hope that they catch up with the potential of social media and start a website! It seems incredible to me that a chateau that no one has heard of is not making the most of the vehicle that has finally given it some air time.