China France Wine

Chinese company buys 11th century winery in Southwestern France

A Chinese wine importing company has bought shares in an historic winery in southwestern France in Plaimont owned by local co-operative Plaimont Producteurs.

The Chinese company Zhuhai Quanda Industry and Commerce Co Ltd has acquired an unspecified amount of shares in Monastère winery in Saint Mont AOC, roughly two hours from Bordeaux, reported by Chinese media on July 31.

Though purchase details are not specified, Chinese reports said the Zhuhai wine importing company has since become “a key shareholder”, and counts itself as a pioneering Chinese wine company that became a part-owner of one of the oldest French wineries.

vines
Vines at Monastère winery

The Plaimont-owned Monastery vineyard which clings to the steep slopes of the hillside village of Saint Mont, dates back to the 11th century in 1049 when the monastery was founded by Benedictine monks.

Its vineyards sprawl over 7.5 ha planted with Tannat, Pinenc and Cabernet Sauvignon on clay soil but only 5 ha are reserved for the production of its grand vin called ‘Monastère de Saint-Mont’, according to the winery website.

The winery was sold to Plaimont Producteurs in 1995, and now co-owned by the Chinese wine importing company.

The Zhuhai wine importing company was founded in 1992 as an international trading company. Its annual turnover is around US$50 million, according to its Chinese website.

About 150 French wineries are bought by Chinese investors, majority of which are in Bordeaux.

Most recently, Chinese actress Zhao Wei has bought a fifth Chateau in France.

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