Mega Merger Around Château Latour

It is probably the news of the year in the French wine world: Artémis Domaines, owned by the billionaire family of François Pinault (who also owns Château Latour), is merging with Maisons & Domaines Henriot, as international media report.

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Artémis Domaines and Maisons & Domaines Henriot merge (Photo: Champagne Henriot)
Artémis Domaines and Maisons & Domaines Henriot merge (Photo: Champagne Henriot)

On 30 September, the contracts were signed, which now unites legendary brands such as Château Latour from Artémis Domaines and Champagne Henriot under one roof. With three quarters of the shares, Pinault is the majority shareholder of the new entity, which will henceforth trade jointly as Artémis Domaines.

The merger should be a guarantee, François Pinault explained, that a French group would ensure the long-term preservation of such prestigious wine estates, as well as continue their pursuit of "excellence".

In the future, the supervisory board of the new company will be headed by Gilles de Larouzière, the chairman of Maisons & Domaines Henriot, while the management of Artémis Domaines will remain entrusted to Frédéric Engerer, it was announced.

Burgundy shows itself to be critical

Meanwhile, criticism is being voiced: The president of the Confédération des Appellations et des Vignerons de Bourgogne (CAVB), Thiébault Huber, called the merger a "sad step". About 200 hectares of first-class Burgundy vineyards would be sold by the Henriot family to wealthy investors, which had previously been passed on from generation to generation. All this just to improve the reputation of the luxury goods group. He also warned of possible rising prices for wines from the region, which were beyond the reach of most people.

The Pinault family's luxury goods empire includes the Château Latour (Pauillac), Château Grillet (Rhône), Clos de Tart (Côte de Nuits), Domaine de l'Eugénie (Côte de Nuits), Domaine Eisele Vineyard (Napa Valley) and a minority stake in Jacquesson.

The Henriot family brings the wineries Bouchard Père & Fils (Beaune), William Fèvre (Chablis), Maison Henriot (Champagne) and Frères-in-law (Oregon) into the new venture.

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