here was an air of inevitability to it; but last week it finally happened. Oenophile bible The Wine Spectator has reported that a Bordeaux chateau was purchased by a Chinese firm.
The 49 acre Chateau de Viaud was bought by Chinese food giant COFCO for an undisclosed sum. The magazine says that the deal is significant because it “integrates COFCO into the Bordeaux wine trade”. COFCO’s plans include exporting the entire production directly to its own distribution network in China. Perhaps surprisingly, locals seem positive about the deal. “We have a tradition of welcoming foreigners to develop the market when they have a passion for our wine,” said Georges Haushalter, a négociant and president of the Bordeaux wine councils. “The English, Dutch, Irish … The Japanese came 20 years ago. It’s logical that the Chinese arrive today. It’s a good thing that people like that invest in Bordeaux.” According to UbiFrance, half of the wine the Chinese buy is French. But growth potential is huge, as grape wines make up just 3% of Chinese alcohol consumption.
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