Bespoke Living Vineyards & Wine

2015 Market Review of Bordeaux Vineyards

An in-depth look into vineyard acquisitions in the world’s premier wine region by Maxwell-Storrie-Baynes, Christie’s International Real Estate’s exclusive Affiliate in Bordeaux

Maxwell-Storrie-Baynes has been working within the Bordeaux wine community for more than 20 years. The company’s vineyard specialist team provides expert market analysis, technical guides, and in-depth information on the subject of Bordeaux vineyards for sale. Here, we feature the first in a series of reports from the region.

People are often amazed to learn that the market for Bordeaux vineyards for sale is as small as it is. Despite the Bordeaux vineyard surface area representing one of the biggest wine growing regions of the world with over 106,000 hectares, or 262,000 acres, the total number of Bordeaux vineyards for sale at any given time is rarely more than 150. Since 2007, the Bordeaux vineyard surface area has been shrinking and is now down by over 11% as the market consolidates and as the Bordeaux vineyard community responded to the arrival and the success of wines from the New World. There are approximately 7,000 vineyard châteaux estates and of the 150 or so that are on the market, the number of sales rarely exceeds 30 each year.

The most significant market movement in the Bordeaux vineyard market within the past five years has been the arrival of Chinese investors who have concentrated on vineyards in the sub €5 million price range. They have now purchased almost 110 Bordeaux vineyards, which represent approximately 1.5% of the total inventory, but their impact has been significant—arresting the falling vineyard prices of the first 10 years of this century and stabilizing the market.

However, the Bordeaux vineyard market is not a liquid market (excuse the pun)—vineyards are unlike many other businesses and are fundamentally farms in the sense that you invest in a business tool rather than a series of cash flows. In this way, despite being a business, a Bordeaux vineyard is similar to a residential home, it is a benign asset that awaits each owner’s personal touch and influence to make the most of it. In all other senses, it is not at all like the purchase of a home and most importantly, a poorly advised decision can lead to an investor losing money, not just from market asset price movements but in cash terms, if wine sales do not exceed operational costs. 

When buying a residence, location and condition will often be the most important if not the only decision criteria. Both require good advice and expertise to arrive at a well-informed decision. However, with a vineyard there are so many additional criteria that expert advice becomes essential: the microclimate, the soils, the plant density, the parcel orientation, the leafage system, the age hierarchy of the plants, the health of the vineyard, the equipment, the personnel, and the building efficiencies, are but a few of the criteria that we review with our clients.

To learn more about the Bordeaux region’s vineyards, viniculture, lifestyle, and luxury property market, visit www.maxwellstorriebaynes.com.