Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

A landslide victory for the 'invisible candidate' in Algeria's Presidential polls

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 18 April 2014

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 18 April 2014 (part 2)

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Presidential adviser resigns over "shoe-shine scandal"

Read more

#THE 51%

Breaking stereotypes

Read more

#TECH 24

Galaxy S5 v. HTC One (M8): Which is the right one for you?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

New PM Manuel Valls outlines priorities

Read more

FASHION

Jean-Marc Loubier, bags and shoes.

Read more

ENCORE!

Hip-hop musician Beat Assailant on mixing the sounds of the city

Read more

  • Bouteflika, the ghost president

    Read more

  • Algeria's ailing Bouteflika clinches fourth term amid fraud claims

    Read more

  • Police arrest S. Korea ferry captain for negligence

    Read more

  • Ukraine separatists say ‘not bound’ by Geneva deal

    Read more

  • Does Valls’ upcoming Vatican trip violate French secularism?

    Read more

  • Obama signs bill to block controversial Iran diplomat from UN post

    Read more

  • Abel Ferrara’s hotly awaited DSK film to premiere on web

    Read more

  • World honours Garcia Marquez’s magical literary legacy

    Read more

  • Ukraine: ‘One bloody incident could scupper Geneva deal’

    Read more

  • Top Hollande adviser resigns over conflict of interest accusation

    Read more

  • Indian election: Votes for sale

    Read more

  • West African Ebola outbreak caused by new strain of virus

    Read more

  • Astronomers discover Earth-like planet that could support life

    Read more

  • Video: Tensions remain high in Mariupol despite Geneva deal

    Read more

  • In Prijedor, survivors fight to keep memory alive

    Read more

  • Deadly avalanche strikes Everest in worst-ever disaster

    Read more

  • With a strong French presence, veterans and fresh faces, Cannes aims to please

    Read more

  • Russia and West agree on steps to ease Ukraine crisis

    Read more

  • Mob launches deadly attack on UN shelter for S. Sudan civilians

    Read more

  • Eurostar train mishap causes 'severe' delays

    Read more

  • Chelsea Clinton announces she's pregnant

    Read more

  • French troops free five aid workers kidnapped in Mali by Islamists

    Read more

  • In pictures: Iranian woman pardons son’s killer at the gallows

    Read more

  • After cup defeat, Spanish pundits read last rites for Barcelona

    Read more

  • India heads to polls in single largest day of voting

    Read more

France

French anger over Burgundy vineyard sale to China tycoon

©

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-08-25

The sale of a top Burgundy winery to a Chinese businessman has been slammed by local winemakers, who generally pass down properties from generation to generation. The row coincides with a wine-based trade dispute between China and the EU.

AFP - France's far-right Front National (FN) on Thursday weighed into a row over the sale of a historic Burgundy chateau and its coveted vineyards to a Chinese businessman.

The sale of the Chateau de Gevrey-Chambertin, a listed 12th-century building which has two hectares (five acres) of vineyards in one of Burgundy's top appellations, has already been attacked by local winemakers who had failed in their own bid to buy the estate.

"These winemakers should have been given some help from the government to preserve this national treasure for the country," said FN vice-president Florian Philippot.

The chateau was sold earlier this year by its French owners to a gambling tycoon from Macau for an unprecedented figure of 8 million euros ($10 million), according to Jean-Michel Guillon, the president of the Gevrey-Chambertin winemakers syndicate.

Guillon told AFP that a group of locals had attempted to buy the chateau with the idea of making it into a visitor and reception centre but had been priced out of the bidding.

"The owners wanted 7 million and they sold it for eight," Guillon said. "I hope this is not the start of a wave of foreign investors moving into Burgundy."

Unlike its rival Bordeaux, Burgundy remains dominated by relatively small estates run by winemakers who, regardless of how prosperous they may have become in recent years, regard themselves as farmers first and foremost.

Properties generally get passed down from generation to generation, making foreign ownership relatively rare, again in contrast to Bordeaux.

It is these cultural differences that explain the angry reaction to the sale of the chateau, rather than any innate anti-Chinese sentiment, according to Bernard Farges, the president of France's national confederation of wine producers (CNAOC).

"I understand their reaction," Farges told AFP. "They are shocked by the terms of the sale -- the price.

"This doesn't surprise us in Bordeaux anymore. We have had foreign investors in Bordeaux for a long time now.

"It's not a case of xenophobia. They just haven't got used to it yet. Some regions are more closed than others -- Alsace doesn't like outsiders either. In Bordeaux, we have room for everyone."

Jean-Claude Robert, the mayor of Gevrey-Chambertin, revealed that the Chinese buyer of the chateau was a Burgundy enthusiast who had engaged the wine-maker of nearby Domaine Rousseau to take charge of production on the estate.

"Like everyone else I would have preferred a French buyer but the good thing is that it will still be a local who is making the wine," he said.

"The wine will return to the top level which was not the case under the previous owners."

The row over the Chinese acquisition of a French estate has coincided with a wine-based trade dispute between Beijing and the European Union.

China is currently considering whether to impose restrictions on wine imports from Europe after complaining that subsidies offered to EU producers were unfairly damaging its own fledgling domestic wine industry.

The EU, which sold an estimated billion euros ($1.2 billion) worth of wine to China last year, has attacked the move as protectionist.
 

Date created : 2012-08-24

  • BUSINESS

    French wine, spirit exports see record year in 2011

    Read more

  • CHINA

    French wines fall victim to Chinese counterfeiting

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    French wine industry ponders shift in marketing strategy

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)