Côte-d’Or vineyard prices soared in 2023

Côte d'Or vineyards

High values in Burgundy lifted average vineyard prices in France last year, even as parts of Bordeaux and the Rhône Valley faced a deteriorating wine real-estate market, according to French rural property agency Groupe Safer.

The price of a premier cru white-wine property in Côte-d’Or rose for a 28th year, climbing 13% to an average €2.25m per hectare. For vines producing premier cru red wines, prices rose 9.2% to €950,000 per ha. Communal applications also appreciated, with average gains of 8% to 10%, depending on colour and location.

‘Only the Côte-d’Or appellations continue to climb, while stability prevails in the other prestigious appellations, and sometimes significant declines affect many red-wine appellations,’ according to Safer.

The agency said the French wine-property market was one of ‘two speeds’ in 2023. Across France, the average cost per ha for vines within protected designations of origin rose 1.5% to €153,500 last year.

The number of wine real estate transactions fell 7.6%, hurt by fewer deals in Bordeaux and the Rhône Valley, which suffered from a crisis in the red wine market and a slump in the Cognac region, which faces a drop in exports. In all three areas, sales of both vines and entire domains fell.

The value of French wine property that changed owners rose 15.8% to €1.17bn, an increase Safer said was due to a small number of ‘exceptional transactions’.

Among last year’s deals, Maison Joseph Drouhin bought two properties in Burgundy, adding more than 20ha. Investment fund Solexia acquired 7ha with the purchase of Domaine des Terres de Velle in Auxey-Duresses. In January this year Domaines Barons de Rothschild Lafite bought William Fèvre, adding 70ha in Chablis.

The market in Côte-d’Or is ‘highly competitive and coveted’, with mostly small transactions of less than 1ha in 2024, according to Safer. The department’s vineyard covers less than 10,000ha, less than a tenth of the area of Bordeaux.

Bordeaux faced a very different market, with average vineyard prices in the Gironde department falling 4.3% to €122,400 per ha. Less prestigious areas generally suffered bigger declines, with values for wine property in Médoc, Listrac and Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux slumping more than 20%. In the most prestigious areas – Pauillac, Pomerol, Saint-Julien and Margaux – prices were stable at high levels.

In ‘exceptional situations’ the best terroirs can still change hands for as much as €5m per ha, though competition for top-end properties is waning as investors become more cautious and supply increases, according to the agency.

Terrain in the Bordeaux and Côtes de Bordeaux appellations that is vulnerable to frost, or produces ordinary wines, is having a hard time finding buyers, with prices of around €4,000 per ha, according to Safer. In such areas, winegrowers looking to sell have generally put their decision on hold, instead opting for aid to grub up their vines.

‘The decline in real estate prices combined with the fall in vineyard prices has led to a drastic reduction in the value of estates,’ Safer said. ‘This is rekindling the interest of a handful of French and foreign investors.’

Average prices for wine property rose in Alsace, the Loire Valley and Champagne, even if the increase was less than France’s inflation of 5.4% in 2023 (Safer). Prices dropped 3.1% in Languedoc-Roussillon.

Excluding Champagne, the average cost of French vines with a protected designation of origin rose 0.7% to €82,000 per ha in 2023.

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Source : https://www.decanter.com/wine-news/cote-dor-vineyard-prices-soared-in-2023-530263/