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Girardin and More Côte d'Or Real-Estate Transactions

Behind-the-scenes deals are changing the Burgundy landscape
Photo by: David Yellen

Posted: Mar 1, 2012 4:30pm ET

Late last year, I wrote a blog about the rumored sale of Maison Vincent Girardin. At that time, I was unable to get a confirmation from Girardin or a spokesperson for the company. However, last week I heard that the deal was almost completed.

Marco Caschera, the Girardin export manager, confirmed that La Compagnie des Vins d'Autrefois and its managing director Jean-Pierre Nié became the majority shareholder and recently took over management of the Girardin business. The technical and sales team remains in place, with winemaker Eric Germain still at the helm. An assistant enologist, Christophe Marin, was hired to assist Germain. Girardin himself will continue in a consulting role.

"Véronique and Vincent [Girardin] have decided to entrust the management of Maison Vincent Girardin to Jean-Pierre Nié's care," said Caschera. "Jean-Pierre Nié, well-known professional of Burgundy, is the managing director of La Compagnie des Vins d'Autrefois, a trade partner of Maison Vincent Girardin for years."

According to Caschera, after 30 years of growing grapes—and recent back surgery—Girardin wanted to ensure the prosperity and development of the business over the long term. The agreement with C.V.A. will facilitate this transition.

What I was unable to determine is what will happen to the Beaujolais property Domaine de La Tour du Bief. Apparently some of the Girardin vineyards are still up for sale. It was a complicated deal from the beginning and there are still many details unanswered.

Thus is the nature of these types of deals in Burgundy. They are private sales, often intricate and secretive.

Such is the case of another similar sale I caught wind of while in Burgundy. Although I could not confirm all the details, Château de Chorey sold off all but its vineyards surrounding the château, keeping the château and the brand name.

This amounted to about 23 acres of primarily Beaune premiers crus, purchased by Louis Jadot (Beaune Vignes Franches), Maison Remoissenet (Beaune Les Teurons), Domaine Rapet (Beaune Les Cent Vignes) and Domaine du Clos du Moulin aux Moines (Pernand-Vergelesses Les Combottes).

Just this week, I also heard from a source that Domaine Maume in Gevrey-Chambertin had been purchased by Canadian businessman Moray Tawse, of Tawse Winery in Ontario's Niagara Peninsula. A small domaine, Maume's 10 acres include 1.65 acres of grands crus Mazis-Chambertin and nearly half an acre of Charmes-Chambertin, plus premiers crus Lavaux St.-Jacques (0.72 acres) and Les Champeaux (0.67 acres).

The wines will continue to be made under the Domaine Maume label, with Bertrand Maume continuing his winemaking and vineyard duties.

Last year, Tawse partnered with Pascal Marchand to create the Marchand Tawse négociant label. Marchand will oversee the winemaking, working closely with Bertrand Maume.

Since 2009, Tawse has acquired 17.25 acres of vineyards in Burgundy. In addition to this and the Ontario winery, he and his family also own vineyards in Argentina.

Stem Wine Group
Ontario Canada  —  March 5, 2012 10:47am ET
"the canadians are coming, the canadians are coming!"
Thanks for the coverage Bruce.

cheers,
Glenn Barley Toronto Ont.
Stem Wine Group
Lawrence Newcombe
bay city, mj —  March 10, 2012 1:07pm ET
Can you tell me why your pick for wine of the day (March 9th 2012) the Louis Jadot was selected ? That particular wine is here and gone , long long gone as far as being avaiable from any retail . My wholesale rep says the vintage is two years sold, yet upon reading that selection the calls start coming in looking to be purchased.
Gerry Ansel
Fullerton, Calif —  March 25, 2012 6:37am ET
Bruce, do you think Girardin will change their pricing? The producer is one of the last bastions of value in Burgundy.
Jim Johnson
Bend, Texas —  April 18, 2012 5:48pm ET
I'm really, really curious about something and since you seem to be one of the Burgundy experts for WS I'll ask you.

Why does WS review wines in glowing terms, tell you it costs $450 a bottle and then tell you 1 FREAKIN' CASE IMPORTED? You require 2 bottles just to review, that leaves 10 for anybody who wants to spend that kind of money for a nice bottle of Burgundy. What is the point? I'm sure I'm not the first person to make this observation but I haven't seen a reply to that particular question and like I said, I'm really, really curious why you'd waste tasting panel time on wines nobody can find.

Other than that, LOVE THE MAGAZINE.

Jim Johnson
Alamosa Wine Cellars
Bend, Texas
Tom J Wilson
Canada —  May 2, 2012 5:22pm ET
Bruce;

Any idea when 2007 Brunello are going to be posted ?
Bruce Sanderson
New York —  May 7, 2012 7:23pm ET
Tom, I have been tasting both 2007 and 2006 Riservas from Brunello di Montalcino over the past few weeks. Look for reviews in WS Insider as well as upcoming issues of WS.

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