CHINESE ACTRESS ZHAO WEI ACQUIRED HER FOURTH BORDEAUX CHATEAU
By David Ma
Already owner of three chateaux in Bordeaux, China’s leading actress Zhao Wei has acquired her fourth Bordeaux property earlier this year, according to reports in French local media.
Reports said Zhao acquired Chateau La Croix de la Roche in March this year. Located in Galgon, the chateau has vineyards situated in the appellations of Fronsac and Bordeaux Supérieur.
It is reported that the chateau is organic certified and has 12 hectares of vineyard with a production of 82,000 bottles a year. Among which 4,000 bottles are labelled Fronsac AOC, 10,000 bottles Crémant de Bordeaux, 3,000 bottles Bordeaux White, as well as 60,000 bottles of Bordeaux Red and Bordeaux Supérieur.
The property’s previous owner, Isabelle Maurin, had been owner of the chateau since 1982 but had to sell up because no family members are willing to take it over.
According to a Forbes magazine report published in 2015, Zhao was the world’s wealthiest working actress and was one of China’s most loved artists.
The wealthy actress started investing in Bordeaux in 2011 when she purchased Saint-Emilian Grand Cru winery Chateau Monlot with vineyard area of 8.5 ha. Under Zhao’s ownership, the winery hires Chateau Angelus owner Hubert de Bouard and former Petrus winemaker Jean-Claude Berrouet as its consultants.
Two years later, Zhao bought her second Bordeaux winery, the 9-ha Chateau Patarabet which is also in Saint-Emilian.
In 2015, Zhao purchased her third Bordeaux chateau, the 57-ha Chateau Senailhac in Entre-Deux-Mers. This move was seemingly an act to diversify her portfolio in Bordeaux, this strategy of diversifying was made more obvious by her recent fourth acquisition.
It is a common strategy for Chinese winery investors to sell their wines back to China, to facilitate the sell back operation, Zhao has founded a negociant house called SAS Cellar Privilege.
Having used her fame to market her own wines in China, her wine portfolio, particularly the cheaper range of the Monlot label, often tops the popularity league table released by Alibaba’s e-commerce site Tmall.
Zhao Wei has become an ambassador for the Bordeaux wine region and was inducted into the Saint-Emilion Jurade in 2012.
(the writer can be contacted at: DavidMa@thewinechronicle.com)
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