Treaty Port winery in Shandong has sold its vineyards to its neighbor Domaine de Long Dai, the Chinese winery owned by DBR Lafite for an undisclosed amount, Vino Joy News has learned.
The deal was completed last week and the sale includes Treaty Port’s 18 ha vineyards (268 mu) in Qiu Shan Valley, Peng Lai and farm buildings in Mulangou village, its owner Chris Ruffle has told Vino Joy News.
The winery’s imposing Scottish castle and hotel are not part of the sale.
“[I] Will keep the Scottish castle winery and hotel, so can continue to make wine from bought-in local grapes and bottle imported whisky,” says Ruffle, an Englishman who has lived in China since 2002 first as a funds manager before tapping into wine.
Treaty Port was established in 2004, at the time among the first to plant vines in Mount Qiu, Penglai, where DBR Lafite’s Domaine de Long Dai is now located.
Situated in northeastern part of the Shandong Peninsula just 30 minutes’ drive from Yantai airport, Mount Qiu has recently gained international renown because of DBR Lafite’s investment. The region is now the most sought-after wine real estate in Shandong.
Long Dai sprawls over 400 ha of land but only about 30 ha are planted to vines at the time of its first vintage release of its grand vin in 2019. The new purchase from Treaty Port is expected to give Long Dai more production capacity.
Two years ago, Long Dai has launched its second wine called Hu Yue, and it’s not known if a third wine is in the making, with increased vineyards.
According to Ruffle, the vineyards sold are planted to 12 different varietals from Cabernet Franc, Grenache Noir to Marselan, Muscat and Petit Verdot.
Educated at Oxford, Ruffle first came to China in 1983 when he went to Beijing to work for a metals-trading firm. He worked as a financial analyst during Japan’s booming late 80s, then did stints in Taipei and Hong Kong. Since 2002 he has lived in Shanghai, where he runs a fund management company called Open Door.