The bank Crédit Agricole (CA Grands Crus) has bought an 18% stake in Vignobles André Lurton – one of Bordeaux’s largest wine companies.
Crédit Agricole already owns:
Grand Puy Ducasse (Medoc)
Meyney (Sainte Estephe)
Rayne Vigneau (Sauternes)
Lamothe Bergeron (Haut Medoc),
La Tour de Mons (Margaux, producing 400,000 bottles annually)
Saint Louis La Perdrix (Costières de Nîmes in the Rhone Valley)
de Santenay (located in Burgundy’s villages Pommard and Clos de Vougeot).
Before their recent purchase CA Grands Crus were producing 1.8 million bottles a year (2009 figures).
André Lurton, aged 85, sold the stake to sustain the wine company and secure the future for his 7 children. Vignobles André Lurton produce wine from Chateaux La Louviere, de Cruzeau, de Rochemorin and Couhins Lurton in Pessac Leognan, Chateau Dauzac (Margaux), de Barbe Blanche (Saint Emilion) and Bonnet (Entre Deux Mers)
Vignobles André Lurton sold 4 million bottles in 2011 and have a turnover of 21.8 million euros. The company has 600 hectares of vineyards, 200 permanent employees and exports 60% of their wine abroad.
André Lurton played a big role in the creation of the appellation Pessac Leognan and in the struggle for the preservation of the AOC when threatened with urbanization. His policy over the years has been to buy neglected chateaux with forgotten potential, sympathetically renovating them and raising the quality of the wines. Chateau La Louviere, in particular, is now a historical monument and listed building.
The Lurton family have been wine producers in Bordeaux since 1650 and at one point in time owned Chateaux d’Issan (Margaux), Lagrange (Saint Julien), Clos Fourtet (Saint Emilion) and 40% of the First Growth Chateau Margaux.
Today they represent one of the largest wine dynasties in the world with no fewer than 17 family members of the current generation working in the wine trade, 1300 hectares of vines and 27 chateaux.
Lurton château include Brane Cantenac (Margaux), Desmirail (Margaux) and Climens (Barsac) amongst others and Pierre Lurton (André’s nephew) is Director of Saint Emilion First Growth Château Cheval Blanc and CEO of Sauternes First Growth Château d’Yquem.