by Vinifera / 05 January 2017
Bonneau du Martray sold to Stan Kroenke
Considered one of the most prestigious estates on Corton Hill, the owning family of Domaine Bonneau du Martray has announced the sale of the majority of its shares to American businessman Enos Stanley Kroenke.
Stan Kroenke already owns Screaming Eagle in California’s Napa Valley, and is the majority owner of Arsenal football club in the UK. He has a personal fortune of $7.4 billion, according to Forbes magazine.
The deal is another example of a top Burgundy wine estate being sold to outside investors. Luxury goods group LVMH bought Clos des Lambrays in 2014, for close to 100 million euros.
Domaine Bonneau du Martray is an estate of 11 hectares located on the hills of Aloxe-Corton and Pernand-Vergelesses, producing only grands crus from Corton and Corton-Charlemagne. The estate is also considered a pioneer of biodynamics in Burgundy.
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Its reputation is outstanding internationally and its wines were served at a private birthday dinner party in 2006 for England’s Queen Elizabeth II.
French newspaper Les Echos, quoted Armand de Maigret, director of wine operations for Stan Kroenke, as saying that the American businessman fell in love with this ‘terroir that exists nowhere else’.
Kroenke, who is rarely interviewed, reportedly wants to remain faithful to the work engendered by Jean-Charles Le Bault de la Morinière, the latest generation of a family which has owned the domaine for two centuries. He is expected to remain in his post for at least a few months.
The deal is likely to raise more discussion about France’s notoriously tricky rules around succession for family-owned wine estates that have seen the value of their land rise strongly in the last few decades.
Financial details of the deal have not been disclosed.
Grand Cru vineyards in Burgundy cost more than €4 million per hectare on average, according to French land agency Safer.
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