The Chinese owner of four vineyards in the French winemaking region of Bordeaux has caused a stir by giving the historic chateaus new names with a distinctly Chinese flavor. Chateau Senilhac, which was once the largest wine producer in the Medoc area of Bordeaux, had been in the Grassin family for eight decades when it was sold to Chinese entrepreneur Chi Tong earlier this year…Full Article: China Daily Nov 2017

Key Points

  • Bordeaux-based vineyards that have been rebranded include the Chateau Senilhac as Chateau Antilope Tibetaine (i.e Chateau Tibetan Antelope in English), Chateau Larteau as Chateau Lapin Imperial (i.e. Chateau Imperial Rabbit), Chateau La Tour Saint-Pierre as Chateau Lapin d’Or (i.e. Chateau Golden Rabbit), and Chateau Clos Bel-Air as Chateau Grande Antilope (i.e. Chateau Great Antelope).
  • In 2016, according to the Le Conseil Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux (CIVB), the Bordeaux region of France exported 74 million bottles of wine to China.

ChinaAg Comments

  • In May 2017, ChangYu Pioneer Wine signed an agreement to purchase three vineyards from Chile’s Bethia Group for ~USD 50 million. As of 2016, Bethia Group was Chile’s 7th largest winery by sales. Once the deal is concluded in June, ChangYu will have operations in China, Chile, France, Italy, and New Zealand.
  • In October 2016, France’s Chateau Lafite Rothschild announced it reached an agreement with JD.com to market its wines in China. In addition to Château Lafite Rothschild, JD.com will also promote sales of Légende Médoc (also part of the Lafite collection of wines). According to the President of the Consumer Division of JD Mall, French wines account for 50% of the online company’s total wine sales.
  • In June 2016, Alibaba’s Jack Ma purchased two Boudreaux vineyards (i.e. Chateau Guerry and the Chateau Perenne). At the time, Chinese investors reportedly owned 100 vineyards in southwestern France or roughly 1.5% of the region’s 7,000 vineyards.
  • In April 2016, Château Lafite Rothschild won a court case in Jinan, Shandong Province, against Falaiya Wine over the illegal use of its trademark. In 2015, Château Lafite Rothschild brought its complaint of counterfeit “Lafite” wines to the Shandong courts. In the past, Château Lafite Rothschild of France has invested in developing Shandong Province’s wine industry.
  • In February 2016, Alibaba purchased the Chateau de Sours vineyard (500,000 bottles of wine per year) in Bordeaux, southern France.
  • As of December 2015, 25 Chilean wineries had representative offices in China.
  • In January 2015, China’s import duty rate for Chilean wine dropped from 11.2% to 0% as a result of the FTA.  Chile also has a strong trade presence in the coastal city of Qingdao.
  • In 2014, the Hangzhou-based New Century Tourism Group (luxury hotels) purchased a Bourdeaux vineyard (Chateau de Birot, 25 ha of vines out of a total 34 ha).
  • As of early 2014, Chinese investors had bought approximately 70 Bordeaux area chateaus (~1% of Bordeaux’s 8,000 chateaus).
  • In November 2012, the Beijing headquartered Vats Liquor (owned by Wu Xiangdonghas) obtained the Chinese distribution rights for the Bordeaux-based wines of Lafite, Chateau Latour, Chateau Margaux, and Chateau Mouton Rothschild.

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