Château Lafite Rothschild Owners Buy Domaine William Fèvre in Chablis

The owners of Château Latour and Château Lafite Rothschild have made a deal over a Chablis winery. Artémis Domaines, the French wine company that includes Latour and is owned by the Pinault family, announced that it has agreed to sell top Chablis producer Domaine William Fèvre to Domaines Barons de Rothschild Lafite (DBR Lafite) for an undisclosed sum.

Fèvre is DBR Lafite’s first acquisition in Burgundy and only its second French winery outside Bordeaux. For Artémis, Fèvre is another part of the Maisons & Domaines Henriot portfolio that it is spinning off less than a year after it bought a majority stake in the company.

DBR Lafite CEO and chairperson Saskia de Rothschild told Wine Spectator, “We would be truly honored to write a new chapter in the history of Domaine William Fèvre, whose iconic terroir, with grand cru, premier cru and Chablis villages plots, and history of producing great white wines for generations convinced us to continue our winemaking story toward this more northern region.”

William Fèvre founded his eponymous domaine in 1957 and gained attention for his wines. Four decades later, he owned a sizable collection of vineyard parcels. In 1998, with his two daughters uninterested in the wine business, Fèvre sold the winery to Joseph Henriot for a reported $8 million. “I would have been an imbecile to let it pass,” Henriot told Wine Spectator at the time. The domaine owns 172 acres of vines in 90 parcels, including 38 acres classified as premier cru and 36.5 classified as grand cru. Winemaker Didier Seguier has run the cellars for more than two decades.

“Wines from the Chablis vineyards are magical,” said Rothschild. “We really hope we can soon learn from this terroir and ecosystem, whose development we have admired over the years and whose vigneron approach we love.” Since taking over the management of her family’s vineyards from her father in 2018, Rothschild has made her commitment to sustainable and organic farming a cornerstone of her management style. Today, all of the French vineyards belonging to DBR Lafite are farmed organically.

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Artémis Domaines is owned by French billionaire François Pinault, his son François-Henri and their family. Last year, the firm bought a majority stake in Maisons & Domaines Henriot from the Henriot-Larouzière family, who remain as minority shareholders. The deal included Bouchard Père & Fils in Burgundy, William Fèvre in Chablis, Maison Henriot in Champagne and Beaux Frères in Oregon. But since then, Artémis has sold off the Champagne house and now Fèvre.

When they decided to part ways with William Fèvre, they received interest from multiple buyers. “After receiving and examining several offers, we are delighted to be handing over the reins to a family with whom we share the same values. We will now be able to fully concentrate on Bouchard Père & Fils and its unique collection of Côte de Beaune vineyards,” said Artémis managing director Frédéric Engerer.

Artémis owns multiple iconic estates, including Bordeaux first-growth Latour; Clos de Tart in Morey-St.-Denis, Bouchard in Beaune and Domaine d’Eugénie in Vosne-Romanée in Burgundy; Château Grillet in the Rhône Valley; Jacquesson in Champagne; Eisele Vineyard in Napa Valley and Beaux Frères in Oregon.

DBR Lafite is owned by various branches of the Rothschild family and managed by Saskia de Rothschild. The group owns Bordeaux first-growth Château Lafite Rothschild as well as Château Duhart-Milon in Pauillac, Château L’Evangile in Pomerol, Château Paradis Casseuil in Entre-Deux-Mers, Château Rieussec in Sauternes and Domaine d’Aussières in the Corbières. It also owns Viña Los Vascos in Chile’s Colchagua Valley, Domaine…

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Château Lafite Rothschild Owners Buy Domaine William Fèvre in Chablis Château Lafite Rothschild Owners Buy Domaine William Fèvre in Chablis *Château Lafite Rothschild Owners Buy Domaine William Fèvre in Chablis