It could be argued that watching the moves of wine tycoon Bernard Magrez is a good way to chart what is happening in the world of wine on a global level. Decanter reports that
the French winemaker has bought 200 hectares in Chile and sold three Bordeaux AOC estates. The move is part of Magrez's strategy to concentrate on high-end wines. Magrez intends to produce between 100,000 and 150,000 bottles per year from his new estate in the Colchagua Valley, located around an hour south of the capital Santiago. There are no vineyards on the estate yet but vines planted will include Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Carmenere. The wine from the estate will be called Hacienda de la Serenidad, the name of an existing estate in the area owned by Magrez.
A couple of years ago the words high-end wine and Chile might have sounded laughable but as a recent article by Laura Daniel proves,
the pricier end of the Chilean wine market is booming. Big bold Chileans reds are commanding attention and winning rave reviews.
In France, Magrez is selling off a trio of AOC Bordeaux estates. It's not that he's given up on France (of his 32 estates, 18 are in Bordeaux and six are in Languedoc Roussillon) but the move does bring increased credibility to the already booming area of South American wine. It seems to be part of a global shift where China and Russia are picking up older estates in Bordeaux while French winemakers are bringing their expertise to areas with less vineyards (and lower land prices).