Several estate agencies have told Decanter of rising demand for organic vineyard estates, from Italy to the UK – where the country’s oldest-known organic winery has this summer also been listed for sale by Savills.
In southern France’s Languedoc-Roussillon, known for lots of sunshine and relatively small amounts of rain in general, a trend for organic vineyard deals has arisen over the last five to six years, said Aurélia Mistral-Bernard recently, based at the Montpellier office of estate agency network Vinea Transaction.
Chris Spofforth, head of Savills rural agency for the south-east of England, said it was still a niche but that organics ‘is becoming increasingly popular with people coming into the sector.’ He said sustainability in general was a much bigger topic in people’s lives.
However, organic vineyard management and winemaking may not be for everyone and requires a lot of commitment, said Michael Baynes, executive partner and co-manager of Vineyards-Bordeaux, which is affiliated to the real estate division of Christie’s.
He said that he would generally ask prospective buyers whether organics was ‘part of your core value system’. He added, ‘If they say no, I’m always cautious about pursuing it.’
On the other hand, Baynes noted the rise of France’s recently-introduced environmental standards – Haut Valeur Environnementale (HVE) – which has three levels and was becoming increasingly popular among existing winery and vineyard owners.
If you’re interested in giving organics a go, however, we’ve listed four organic vineyard estates that are currently for sale, across France, Italy and the US.
Organic vineyard in Cahors listed for €1.98m ($2.3m)
Reputedly the former hunting estate of Richard the Lionheart, you’ll find a six-bedroom manor house with a large space for entertaining friends and family, plus 8.5 hectares of organically-farmed vines within AOC Cahors, according to the listing by Maxwell-Baynes, an exclusive affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate.
The vineyard constitutes 70% Malbec, as you might expect in this grape variety’s historical French heartland, and also 30% Merlot. Annual production is around 26,000 bottles.
Organic wine estate in Languedoc for €2.76m ($3.2m)
Further south, this organic vineyard estate in Pezenas promises panoramic views over Languedoc wine country, around an hour’s drive from Montpellier on the scenic route.
Alongside the swimming pool and a 600-square-metre main house built in 2006, there are 13 hectares of organic vines and also 200 organically-grown olive trees, according to the listing by Montpellier Sotheby’s International Realty.
There is also the option of planting a further two hectares of vines, it said – vine planting rights are controlled at national and EU level.
Vineyard and walnut farm property in California for $4.25m
For anyone lucky enough to have an even larger budget and interesting in living within the vicinity of Los Angeles, California, Patty Waltcher of LIV Sotheby’s International Realty also has this 24-acre (9.7-hectare) property listed for $4.25m.
Described as a fully renovated property with ‘old world charm’, there is a two-bedroom, ranch-style farmhouse, plus an organic Syrah vineyard alongside a certified organic walnut farm, according to the listing.
Amalfi Coast vineyard and winery listed for €3.5m (US$4.1m)
Alternatively, this idyllic setting on the Amalfi Coast could be the backdrop for a restoration project, and possible wine tourism venture, albeit not without a significant outlay.
This estate is built along a cliff overlooking the coast, and includes an ‘organic winery with 6ha of vineyards, 2ha of olive groves and 2ha of lemon groves’, according to the listing by Romolini real estate agency, an affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate.
There are several buildings on the property requiring renovation work, according to the listing, but the cellar is described as in ‘excellent structural condition’ and is currently used to make the wines.
Grape varieties planted include Falanghina, Piedirosso, Biancolella, Ginestra, Aglianico and Tintore and annual production is between 20,000 to 25,000 bottles. The vines are on terraces built into steep slopes – a note of caution to vertigo sufferers – and the wines produced include Costa d’Amalfi DOC red, white and rosato (rosé).
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Source: Chris Mercer