Why just stock up on wine for Christmas when you could own an entire vineyard?

By The Newsroom
Friday, 24th November 2017, 11:44 am
Updated Friday, 24th November 2017, 11:53 am

New figures from premium French property agents FrenchEntree have revealed that UK buyers just can’t get enough when it comes to French vineyards.Over the past six months British buyers have topped the table of those looking to snap up vineyards, accounting for 44 per cent of all enquiries through FrenchEntrée.They were followed by enquiries from the US (18 per cent), China (8 per cent) and Russia (4 per cent).“Demand for vineyards has never dropped - quite the opposite. We’ve seen demand rise consistently over many years and there are several reasons for this. Tax-wise, France offers a number of advantages, particularly when you take into account inheritance tax. As many of those who purchase a vineyard are retirees looking for a better lifestyle, this can play an important role in their purchasing decisions,” said Annick Dauchy, property business development manager at FrenchEntrée.According to FrenchEntrée, vineyards are also popular with corporate buyers looking to add to their portfolio. A few million euros is apparently a small price to pay for the prestige of owning a vineyard in the South of France.Of course, you don’t need millions to pick up a vineyard. The properties attracting enquiries through FrenchEntrée between May and October 2017 ranged in value from €360,000 to €50 million.Bordeaux is the most popular area for those seeking their own slice of traditional French countryside, with 35 per cent of enquirers looking to buy vineyards there. The region offers the highest supply of vineyards and can thus cater to a wider range of budgets and tastes than other areas.Provence follows, with 25 per cent of enquiries, then Nouvelle Aquitaine (20 per cent - excluding Bordeaux) and Languedoc Roussillon (16 per cent).While the absence of Burgundy from the figures may be surprising, this is due to the difficulties that buyers face obtaining vineyards in this region. Land and properties tend to be handed down through the generations, leaving the area all but closed to foreign buyers.“Much of the time, the decision on which area to buy in is led by budget. You can still pick up a vineyard in the Bordeaux or Languedoc area for less than €2 million. The quantity of vineyards available in France means that buyers have plenty of choice - there’s a property to suit each buyer’s individual circumstances,” continued Annick.The majority of new vineyard owners tend to know little about caring for vines or making wine. Their experience usually starts at the point the cork comes out of the bottle.However, with many sellers happy to stay on and coach the new owners, this is rarely a problem. Employee teams tend to stay on as well, giving the newly installed owners instant access to knowledgeable workers who can assist them in their endeavour.When it comes to buying, vineyards tend to be a cash market with 81 per cent of prospective buyers coming to FrenchEntrée in the past six months planned to fund their purchase with cash. The fact that it’s almost impossible to get a mortgage for a vineyard is the main factor behind this.

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