Chinese buy Bordeaux wineries to send the wine back home

on 09/03/11 at 10:56 am

Wine

Richard Shen Dongjun buys Château Laulan Ducos

In a new twist in China’s love affair with Bordeaux, Chinese companies have begun buying Bordeaux wineries so that they can export their entire production to the Middle Kingdom.

Agence-France Presse last week published an interview with Tesiro CEO Richard Shen Dongjun, whose company recently bought a 54-acre estate in the Médoc region (but not one of the sexier subappellations).

The estate, Chateau Laulan Ducos,  is more than 500 years old, and makes a little over 12,000 cases per year, all of which will now go directly to China. This is just the latest of five such Chinese chateau purchases in Bordeaux, including one by a Chinese state-owned firm.

What I found most remarkable was this quote by Stephane Toutoundji, who consults for two of the Chinese-owned chateaux.

“(Chinese consumers) prefer smooth wines without too much tannin and not too much oak, and they hate bitterness,”* Toutoundji said. “They want charm, elegance and balance.”

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