Review of the Chateaux Purchased in Bordeaux by Chinese Investors

Of the two chateaux recently purchased by Chinese investors Chateau Barateau, in the Haut Medoc, is the more well known. Barateau lies on a chalky clay south facing hilltop, along from Chateaux Lagrange and Tour Carnet, on the road to Saint Julien in the commune of Saint Laurent.

The chateau takes its name from the Abbot Barateau who blessed the first stone used in constructing the chateau in 1820. It was bought by the Leroy family in 1987, who modernized the winery and bought an additional 12 hectares in Saint-Sauveur in 1989 to expand on the 24 hectares of Barateau.

The award winning wines were produced under the Cru Bourgeois label and Eric Boissenot acted as consultant oenologist. The grapes grown are Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot. The chateau was sold to the Marvelke Wine Group from China earlier this month.

Chateau Thebot (AOC Bordeaux) is part of 4 recent purchases by Cheng Qu from Dalian who bought Chateau Chenu Lafitte (Cotes de Bourg) last year and is reported to want to open a theme park based on wine. Cheng Qu has established a company named France’s Lamont Winery Group and will invest three billion yuan in the first wine park in Dalian: the International Wine Industrial Park.

The park will focus on grape growing and wine production. It will also integrate tourism activities. China Daily reports that 333.3 hectares of grapes will be planted. Apparently the park will have chateaux, a Bordeaux wine museum, a hotel, a French wine school and a China-French Wine Cultural Exchange Centre.

The paper also lists Cheng Qu as owning Chateau Bab – which I have never heard of and presume must be a misprint? They also state that each chateau has a history of over 100 to 400 years and the company occupies an area of greater than 340 hectares.

Chateau Thebot lies in Saint Andre et Appelles, about 3 miles west of the bastide town of Sainte Foy La Grande. It has been difficult to find out information on Thebot but as news trickles out maybe more detail will surface. Thebot is owned by Franck Brisson, owner of the Brisson fruit firm in Sainte Foy La Grande which specialises in plums, prunes and fruit juices.

Viticulture at Thebot is overseen by Pascal Colle and it seems that Brisson also owns Chateau Moulin de Ferrand (Entre Deux Mers) and Chateau Baby in Pineuilh, Sainte Foy La Grande (perhaps this could be the elusive misprint of Chateau Bab referred to by China Daily?)

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