Successions. Families in danger

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The price of vineyards has risen to the top. In these conditions, growers are finding it very difficult to keep their estates within the family

NOT A MONTH GOES BY without the Burgundy vineyards buzzing with rumours, more or less well-founded, about the imminent sale of this or that famous estate, for stratospheric prices. In recent years, the region has become the object of all sorts of fantasies since the leading estates have been bought up by large French or foreign fortunes, at ever higher prices. In less than ten years, the Côte d’Or has seen some extraordinary transactions: 8 million euros for the two hectares of Château de Gevrey-Chambertin by Chinese billionaire Ng Chi Sing in 2012, more than 100 million euros for the acquisition of Clos des Lambrays in 2014 by the LVMH group, and then, for a sum at least as high, the sale of Domaine Bonneau du Martray to Stanley Kroenke (already owner of Screaming Eagle), not to mention the acquisition by Artemis of Clos de Tart in 2017, for a sum that could be close to 280 million euros, or the sale of Domaine Henri Rebourseau to the brothers Martin and Olivier Bouygues in 2018. “I even think that the trigger for this great movement was the purchase of Domaine Engel by François Pinault in 2006,” says Erwan Faiveley, the eponymous director of the Côtes-de-Nuit company. “With this acquisition, the great fortunes understood that Burgundy could become an excellent playground”. But, faced with this galloping speculation, the Burgundian families are worried.

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