We met through Myspace in 2008. We started talking and things just took off from there. He would call or text me every single day.
I would wake up to cute little text messages when he finally admitted to liking me.
He asked me out on January 3, 2009 through the phone. I then went to see him a couple of months later. & Again once more the next mohth.
The Halley family, previously majority shareholders in Carrefour, have sold Chateau de La Dauphine in Fronsac to the Labrune family, founders of Cegedim, a global buisness providing information technology services for the health industry, with revenues of about €500m. Chateau de la Dauphine has 40 hectares of vines producing about 200,000 bottles of wine per year. It is the second larget estate in the Fronsac appellation after Chateau de la Rivière. Following their acquisition of the estate in December 2000 the Halley family initiated a major restructuring programme, replanting parts of the vineyard and constructing a state-of-the-art production facility that includes a gravity-fed vat room. The vineyard commenced conversion to organic viticulture in 2012 and should be fully certified for the 2015 vintage. In addition to winning praise from various critics for the quality of their wines in recent vintages the estate has also developed a successful wine tourism activity.
CA Grands Crus has sold a majority shareholding in Chateau de Rayne Vigneau in Sauternes to the Tresor du Patrimoine group. Chateau de Rayne Vigneau was classified as a first growth in the 1855 classification. The estate has 84 hectares of vines planted with 74% Semillon, 24% Sauvignon Blanc and 2% Muscadelle, and an anuual production of between 40,000 and 120,000 bottles. The estate was acquired by CA Grands Crus, a subsidiary of French bank Credit Agricole, in 2004. CA Grands Crus also owns Chateau Grand Puy Ducasse, the fifth growth estate in Pauillac, Chateau Meyney in Saint-Estèphe and Chateau Blaignan in the Médoc. The Tresor du Patrimoine Group was founded in 1990 by Derek Remy Smith and specialises in mail order and online sales of a variety of products ranging from coins, clothes and gadgets to regional foods and wines. In 2013 the group acquired Traditions du Perigord and Vignobles Lalande-Moreau and already sells seven million bottles of wines to its customer base of
CA Grands Crus, the subsidiary of French bank Credit Agricole has acquired the shares of Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec (CDPQ) to become the sole owner of Chateau La Tour de Mons in Margaux. Chateau La Tour de Mons has 48 hectares of vines in a single block, with 56% Merlot, 38% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Petit Verdot. The origins of the estate date back to the thirteen century and it takes its name from Pierre de Mons, who inherited the property in 1623. Since acquiring the estate in the 1990's with CDPQ, CA Grands Crus have increased the size of the property as well as constructing new cellars.
Peter Kwok has acquired a sixth Bordeaux estate, Chateau Tourans in Saint-Emilion. According to Jean-Christophe Meyrou, the General Manager of Vignobles K, the purchase of the 12.6 hectares of Chateau Tourans was driven by the desire to increase the production of Chateau Tour Saint Christophe (11.4 hectares) and thus to broaden its distribution. The latter estate will now be similar in size to Vignobles K other Saint-Emilion estate, Chateau Haut Brisson. Peter Kwok's Vignobles K also owns Chateau La Patache (3 hectares in Pomerol), l’Enclos Tourmaline (1.75 hectares in Pomerol) and l’Enclos de Viaud (2.5 hectares in Lalande de Pomerol).
The SAFER Aquitaine Atlantique recently published its annual report on the vineyard market in Bordeaux. They registered a total of 788 transactions in 2014, a decrease of 4% on 2013, with 3166 hectares changing hands (down 36%) for a total value of 320 million Euros (down 34%). According to the SAFER the significant reduction in the last two figures resulted from two phenomena: the poor 2013 harvest, which lead to low stock levels and a consequent loss of confidence that affected the number of sales between local winemakers, and a significant slowdown in the number of Asian buyers, which they attributed to buyers being “scalded by the experience of their predecessors who had discovered the inherent complexity of running a vineyard property”. Looking at the individual appellations there was very little movement in average prices over the year although some appellations experienced a widening of the gap between the lowest and highest prices paid. This was the case for AOC
Chateau Ripeau, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Classé, has been sold to the Gregoire family. Chateau Ripeau has 15 hectares of vines located close to Chateau Cheval Blanc. The property had been owned by the Wilde family since 1917 and was being managed by Barbara Janoueix and Louis de Wilde. The Gregoire family, best known for the eponymous brand of grape harvesting machines, sold Chateau de la Riviere in Fronsac in 2013 but still own two other Bordeaux estates, Chateau Puynard in Blaye Cotes de Bordeaux and Chateau Bois Noir, Bordeaux Superieur. They also have a majority shareholding in Bordeaux negociant Vintex.
Chateau Preuillac in the Medoc has been sold to a Chinese investor according to Decanter.com. The 30-hectare estate situated close to Lesparre was owned jointly by the Mau family, former owners of Bordeaux negociant Yvon Mau, and the Dirkzwager family, owners of a Dutch spirits company. The two families remain co-owners of Chateau Brown in Pessac-Leognan. Jean-Christophe Mau will stay on as manager of the estate for at leats a year.
Chateau de Birot, AOC Cadillac Cotes de Bordeaux, has been acquired by Chinese hotel company New Century Tourism Group. Chateau de Birot is a 37 hectare estate located in the commune of Beguey, close to the town of Cadillac. The property was acquired in 1989 by Eric Fournier (former co-owner of Chateau Canon in Saint-Emilion) and his wife Hélène Casteja (Joanne negociant) and had been run by their son Arthur since 2010. The estate produces red, rosé and dry white wines, as well as a sweet white wine. According to Decanter.com, New Century Tourism Group is one of China's largest hotel companies, owning and operating nearly 200 hotels.
My prediction at the start of the year that "2014 is unlikely to see any significant let-up in demand from Chinese buyers" (see Review of 2013 and predictions for 2014) has proved to be slightly wide of the mark. Since the begining of the year the number of transactions involving Chinese buyers is noticeably lower than in the past few years, as is the number of inquiries, although they are still an active force in the market. There are several factors that are likely to have contributed to this cooling off in demand. I was recently contacted by one would-be buyer who was concerned whether it was the right time to invest in a Bordeaux vineyard, citing reports that some of the first wave of Chinese buyers were already considering selling their properties "because they are not capable of running the business". Such reports, whether true or not, have no doubt unsettled some potential investors, reinforcing their concerns over the difficulties of managing a vineyard across both
The following is a summary of sales of Bordeaux vineyard properties so far in 2014. As if proof were needed that French buyers still dominate the market for Bordeaux vineyards, it was reported in January that one Bordeaux broker had sold four properties in Saint-Emilion in the month of December 2013: Chateau Grand d'Essieu (AOC Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, 4 hectares), which was purchased by a Bordeaux pharmacist; Chateau Mondorion (AOC Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, 13 hectares), sold by the Leon family to the Cruse family; Chateau Haut Villet (AOC Saint-Emilion, 8.5 hectares), purchased by the Garcin family, owners of Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Classé estate Chateau Barde Haut, Clos L'Eglise in Pomerol and Chateau Haut Bergey and Chateau Branon in Pessac-Leognan. In January, Luc Thienpont, co-owner of Vieux Chateau Certan in Pomerol, sold a group of properties in the Médoc that he had built up since 2004: Clos des Quatres Vents and Chateau Tayac Plaisance (AOC Margaux, 7 hectares);
The French Ministry of Agriculture recently published a study of the changes and trends in vineyard prices between 1991 and 2013. Their report found that while the average price of French AOC vines has risen significantly during the period - by 75% in constant terms and by 29% taking into account inflation - there are significant variations at both a regional and local level and the overall increase was the result of significant price increases in a small number of the most prestigious appellations. In 2013 the average price per hectare varied from just 12,000 Euros in the Languedoc-Roussillon to 142,000 Euros in the Burgundy-Beaujolais-Savoie-Jura region. For most regions the first part of the 1990s was characterized by a fall in vineyard prices, with the low-point reached around 1995–1996. Most prices rose in the second part of the 1990s thanks to a combination of low interest rates and increases in the price of wines and in the volume of exports: between 1996 and 1998
According to Decanter.com, Vignobles Andre Lurton has sold its 42% stake in Chateau Dauzac to French insurance group, MAIF, giving it 100% ownership of the Margaux fifth growth estate. MAIF acquired the estate in 1988 and brought in Andre Lurton, one of the largerst vineyard owners in Bordeaux, in 1992. The estate was managed by Christine Lurton-de-Caix. In 2013 Laurent Fortin joined as CEO. Chateau Dauzac has 45 hectares of vines, of which 42 hectares are situated in the Margaux appellation.
Jack surprised Helen on April 30, 2015, and she agreed to marry him.
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