Burgundy winemakers furious at sale of chateau to Chinese
LYON, France—Winemakers in one of Burgundy’s most prestigious areas have voiced dismay at the sale of the historic Chateau de Gevrey-Chambertin and its vineyards to a Chinese businessman.
The 12th-century chateau was sold earlier this year 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.
“We knew the chateau was for sale a year before it was concluded,” Guillon told AFP on Wednesday. “The association of winemakers that I represent and numerous other people had put together a project to buy it for the community and use it as somewhere for a visitor and reception center.”
The winemakers first offered 4 million euros, then 5 million for a property that Guillon said had been valued at 3.5 million when it first went on the market.
“The owners wanted 7 million and they sold it for eight. I hope this is not the start of a wave of foreign investors moving into Burgundy.
“We are starting to say to ourselves that our heritage is going out the window because it is not the only (foreign) purchase we’ve seen in the area.”
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