In the world of the vineyard they defend that God created time on the first day, and then rested.
At least that's what the old
, those French grape artisans.
Winegrowers with the lines of their hands sunk like plow furrows and who protect their ancient vines from the worst frost of the last decades by lighting candles between the plants at two in the morning.
Harvest days count, that “if you want to make a small fortune in wine, start with a big one”.
They have a wisdom that many should remember.
Especially today, when there is a growing demand for wineries and vineyards among the
and the business.
The pandemic has prompted the search for lands of calm and tranquility.
The phenomenon resonates strongly in France, Italy, California and, even more tempered, in Spain.
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Of course, someone who buys vineyards for fun should not initially worry about profit or loss.
The house, the
, is usually half the value of the transaction and there are wishes for a new life.
It is even planted on the outskirts of Paris.
“With the crisis, we have seen that one of the properties that is very high on the shopping list is a small vineyard,” observes Tim Swannie, director of Home Hunts, an agency specializing in the sale of strains as a
in France. And he specifies: "Most of the clients [especially, Dutch, German and American] are not looking for a commercial vineyard, but a beautiful house with a lot of space around it and one or two hectares of vines where they can make their own wine." That is, approximately 7,000 bottles if you want to produce with quality.
It is an expensive passion.
Planting new vines costs about 30,000 euros per hectare and you have to wait at least four years to get any type of wine.
And if, in addition, you want to grow organically, the cost increases.
Prices vary by area.
In Bordeaux something similar to that desire costs between 3.5 and 4 million euros.
The right bank and Entre-deux-Mers - experts say - are the lands where the best opportunities exist.
“There is a
Asian investors,” confirms Charlie Foley, wine specialist at Christie's auction house.
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Provence is one of the areas with the highest demand.
The success of the
justifies part of the sales.
“We have witnessed some important operations recently, for example, businessman Stéphane Courbit, joining forces with the Bordeaux family, Prats, to buy Château d'Estoublon and the owner of Château Cos d'Estournel, Michel Reybier, has acquired Château La Mascaronne ”, Analyzes
And the prices are high.
Near the Côte d'Azur, the hectare is worth 150,000 euros.
Very far from the most accessible 32,300 euros that are asked in the Loire region.
Passion for Tuscany
Although life may be a road with hairpin bends that cuts through the most beautiful landscape imaginable. So that's Tuscany (Italy). A destination where you can park your existence. “It is the main area sought by foreign buyers who want their own wine. It is not only the quality of the vineyards, it is the environment, the culture, the lifestyle ”, says Gemma Bruce, co-founder of the Italian agency Casa & Country. And he details: "Small private farms start at 1.5 million euros, while the largest, and commercial, can exceed 20 million." Dream Tuscany. The famous Brunello di Montalcino vineyards are hardly ever on the market. “But a Chianti Classico vineyard between Florence and Siena could cost over 150,000 euros per hectare,while in Montalcino (where Brunello and Sassicaia wines are made) that price doubles, ”says real estate agent Jeremy Onslow-Macaulay in the Financial Times newspaper.
The fineness of the vines worked by hand
In Spain, the dream travels calmer;
Former German investment banker Walter Kraushaar and his American partner, William Stanley, are looking for him in Inca, a municipality in the center of the island of Mallorca.
Walter's grandfather was a winegrower in Germany and “wine is in his blood,” he explains.
"We are between the
and the business," says Stanley.
The winery is called Finca Los Dos Caballeros and they have planted Grenache, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc.
They live in the terroir, where one hectare costs 35,000 euros.
This year they will produce 5,000 bottles and their strategy is to export them to the United States.
Yet from dreams he wakes up every morning. This is noticed by Peter Sisseck, the legendary maker of Pingus (Ribera de Duero). These months he works to create a fine (Viña Corrales, 1,200 bottles) in Jerez. "People think in a very romantic way, but this is very hard and requires a lot of dedication and discipline," he reflects. “I'm looking for a young man, who reminds me of me, with that passion, and who wants to live in empty Spain or France, which is where we make; and it doesn't appear ”, he complains. That is the reality, and the between 20,000 and 30,000 euros that a hectare costs in Sanlúcar de Barrameda (Cádiz). Low numbers compared to other areas. In Ribera de Duero you can't find anything for less than 30,000 euros. In fact, the range goes from 40,000 to 80,000. In El Bierzo (León) it is at 70.000 and the record is set by the old vines of La Rioja, which can reach up to 150,000 euros. “In 10 or 20 years, a good and well-chosen vineyard will surely be worth more. It is an arithmetic that adds quality and demand ”, foresees Mariano García, another of the wine masters.
If God created time on the first day, his hands now mark new boundaries.
For example, buy a vineyard and have a cooperative make with your label.
Or, if you have the resources, hire a professional team so that the passion reflects the ambition of a company.
“Although social prestige still weighs: I have my own winery!
And we have already seen what happened with quite a few in which athletes, actors, singers entered;
inexperienced people ”, recalls an expert, who asked not to be cited.
Perhaps an old
would say that acquiring a vineyard as a hobby is the most professional business in the world.
Napa Valley is through the roof
Pollution and fires have blackened the California sky this year and in the past. The vineyard was wounded, but it endured. The pandemic has generated a steady stream, reveals Kevin McDonald, a local representative for Sotheby's International Realty, of buyers from San Francisco Bay to the northern counties of Sonoma, Mendocino and Napa. "They look for more space and vineyards as a hobby," says Kevin. They are expensive strains compared to the European ones. In Sonoma, the median price, according to the expert, is about $ 130,000 (108,000 euros) per acre (0.4 hectares). And Mendocino's vary. Indoors they reach 35,000, but if the plantation is Pinot Noir, one of the favorite varieties of Americans, as in the Anderson Valley, it goes up to $ 100,000. Meanwhile, the myth of Napa shines in an endless sky.Prices start at $ 300,000 (about 251,000 euros) and, depending on the denomination of origin, they go up… sky high.