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Top Burgundy Winery Buys Vineyards in Puligny-Montrachet

Domaine Faiveley hopes to expand Chardonnay production

Bruce Sanderson
Posted: April 16, 2008

One of Burgundy's leading producers, Domaine Faiveley, purchased Domaine Monnot in Puligny-Montrachet earlier this month for an undisclosed price. The 12.35 acres are located in some of Puligny-Montrachet's top areas for Chardonnay, including parcels in grand crus Bâtard-Montrachet and Bienvenue-Bâtard-Montrachet, in three premiers crus and in villages-rated vineyards.

Faiveley's vineyard holdings now extend to nearly 300 acres in Burgundy's Côte d'Or and Côte Chalonnaise, including 25 acres of grands crus. The Nuits-St.-Georges-based house also buys grapes and finished wine for an additional 20 percent of its total production, under its négociant label, Maison J. Faiveley.

"Making such an acquisition is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," said Faiveley president Erwan Faiveley. "Buying 1 hectare [2.5 acres] of grand cru is 3 percent of all the grand cru white in Burgundy."

The Monnot acquisition comes on the heels of Faiveley's purchase of Domaine Annick Parent in Pommard and a long-term contract for the grapes from Domaine Matrot-Wittersheim in Meursault, both in 2007. Under the direction of Erwan and Bernard Hervet, who joined the firm as CEO in January 2007, Faiveley's strategy is to increase its production of white wines. A range of Chablis from purchased grapes was also introduced, beginning with the 2005 vintage.

The deal also gives Faiveley more control over its grape sources. Grape prices in Burgundy have risen in the past five years as competition for the best parcels has increased. With demand for Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays from the best vineyards continuing to surge, the price of vineyard parcels and grape contracts are only going to keep going up. Burgundy exports grew 25 percent in 2007, according to the BIVB, the local trade group.

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