The Globalization of Wine: Chinese Family Buys Into Bordeaux

China’s interest in wine has grown steadily over the past few years and many companies have been involved in helping China create thriving vineyards. Now for the first time, a Chinese citizen has bought a chateau in France’s Bordeaux region. The Cheng family has purchased the 500-year-old Château Latour-Laguens property.

The property includes a 15th-century tower, courtyard and pond. Haiyan Cheng, the daughter of wealthy Chinese businessman Zuochang Cheng, bought it all in January for about £1.5 million. Zuochang Cheng already imports wines to China from other winegrowing regions such as Australia, Italy and South Africa.Now they have an esteemed French name. Château Latour-Laguens produces red, white and rosé wines. The Chengs are planning to restore the castle, add accommodations for guests at wine tastings and wine seminars and to double the amount of vineyard space, possibly acquiring additional property.

Mid-market French wine has taken a major hit over the past few years. Champagne continues to thrive and the big name Chateaux continue to be highly collectible but other small producers have been struggling. According to an article in the Scotsman, buyers from Russia and Indian have also been shopping in the area looking to pick up vineyards from producers who are facing declining sales, low on cash, and eager to sell.

By Deidre Woollard.