Provence has certainly seen high-profile deals at the top end of the market in recent years, from the arrival of Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and the Perrin family at Château Miraval to estate purchases by LVMH and the owners of Chanel.
French land agency Safer said the number of vineyard transactions in the combined Provence and the Rhône Valley area rose by 7.6% in 2019, to 1,540, but the total value of deals jumped by nearly 55% versus 2018, to €226m.
Most recently, the Prats family, who formerly owned Château Cos d’Estournel in Bordeaux, joined with French businessman Stéphane Courbit to buy Château d’Estoublon in Les Baux de Provence appellation south of Avignon.
Adam Dakin, of estate agency Wine Objectives, told Decanter.com earlier this summer that ‘Provence has been absolutely booming’ of late, as buyers have sought a piece of this burgeoning hub of rosé wines.
Dakin said that land towards the coast tends to be more expensive, but you can still pick up vineyards for around €70,000 per hectare in the upper parts of the Var, for instance.
There is quite a large area to consider, and it’s worth doing your research in advance. The Côtes de Provence appellation covers 20,100ha and produces the equivalent of 130m bottles of wine annually, of which 90% is rosé, according to the region’s wine council.
Other appellations include Coteaux d’Aix en Provence, which covers 4,127ha, the Coteaux Varois en Provence, covering 2,633ha.
There are also ways of setting up a commercial wine business by buying in grapes, rather than starting out with the vineyards themselves, as the owners of Château Mirabeau explained to Decanter’s Georgina Hindle.
If you’re looking for inspiration, then here are some examples estates and properties currently for sale:
Vineyard and holiday rental project with views of the Var hills, listed for €2.85m*
Those looking for the chance to begin their own vineyard project could be tempted by this picturesque estate. It has 17ha of ‘agricultural land’, but in reality there is an area of around five to six hectares on which vines could be planted, according to the listing by estate agency network Vinea Transaction.
The south-facing main house has been renovated and is currently serving as a holiday rental business. Alongside the swimming pool, other features include 150 olive trees spread across the land.
*Including agency fees
Vineyard estate in the Var hinterland, listed for €3m
This estate surrounded by hills has around 6ha of vineyards in the Côtes de Provence appellation, including 2ha on a long-term tenancy deal, according to the listing by the Vinea Transaction network.
The entire estate is around 36ha, with olive groves, forest land and a set of buildings described as a ‘small hamlet’. An agri-tourism business is already in place here, according to the listing.
Luxury wine estate near to Cannes, listed for €15m
Lying just north of Cannes, this impressive-looking vineyard estate features an eight-bedroom mansion plus 100-year-old olive trees, a professional-level kitchen and a vineyard with winemaking and bottling equipment.
There is also a heated swimming pool, of course.
The vines and cellar are capable of producing between 6,000 and 8,000 bottles of white and rosé wine annually, according to the listing by the Côte d’Azur division of Sotheby’s International Realty.
Provence/Rhône border: Vineyard estate with Château in the Luberon, listed for the €4.25m
For prospective buyers seeking a slightly larger-scale winemaking project, this ‘bastide’ in the Luberon north of Aix-en-Provence has 13.5ha of vines alongside a large main residence, three gîtes and several hectares of crop land.
The Luberon area boasts a national park and sits between Provence and the Rhône Valley – with the Luberon AOC at the southern tip of the Rhône Valley wine area.
Wine for this estate is currently made a local cooperative, which is highly regarded, according to the listing by estate agency Wine Objectives.
A buyer would have the opportunity to continue this arrangement or invest in their own winemaking facilities at the estate, it said, describing the property as a ‘rare’ find in the area.
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Source: Chris Mercer