After the recent purchase of Château Gevrey-Chambertin by Macao businessman Louis Ng, some Burgundians and conservative French groups voiced discontent over foreign investment in the region's vineyards. The controversy surrounding the sale may be overblown, however, it does shed light on several looming issues facing the region.
First and foremost, the business of buying and selling vineyards in Burgundy has changed. What once passed between families and neighbors is now the realm of corporations and investors, whether they are French, American, Canadian, European or Asian. Americans have invested in land in Burgundy since the 1950s, but are increasingly involved in recent transactions there.