It takes a lot of capital to assemble a collection of several world leading properties in just a few decades. Insurance companies have a lot of capital but usually they do not invest in wine. An insurer who has done that is AXA Millesimes in France. In just three decades they have acquired a handful top-quality wineries in several different countries.
AXA Millesimes now owns Chateau Pichon Baron, Chateau Suduiraut, Chateau Petit Village and Domaine de l’Arlot in France, Disnoko in Hungary, and Quinta do Noval in Portugal’s Douro Valley.
We have recently had the opportunity to visit both Chateau Pichon Baron in Bordeaux and Quinta do Noval in the Douro. On two of our wine tours we had scheduled visits at these wineries. In Bordeaux we had the opportunity to explore some of the older vintages and in the Douro Valley we arrived just in time for the end of the harvest.
Read Britt’s article on these two exceptional properties in her latest article on Forbes: AXA Insurance’s prestigious wine estates in Bordeaux, Portugal and Hungary.
Here’s the introduction:
It is not uncommon today for banks and big companies to own prestigious wine chateaux in Bordeaux and elsewhere. One of these is French company AXA Insurance. Since 1987 they have acquired wine estates in Bordeaux, in Burgundy, in the Tokaj region of Hungary and in the Douro Valley in norther Portugal. The AXA wine estates are run through a subsidiary called AXA Millésimes (millésime meaning ‘vintage’ in French). In total AXA owns more than 500 hectares of vineyards around Europe.
The first estate AXA bought was Château Pichon-Baron (previously Pichon Longueville Baron) in Pauillac, one of the most prestigious chateaux in Bordeaux. Pichon-Baron is a spectacular fairy tale chateau, classified in 1855 as a second growth, a Deuxième Grand Cru Classé (Second Growth). Sometimes it is called a super-second, as it is close in prestige to the five first growth chateaux (but luckily for us less close in price).
Read Britt’s full article on BKWine on Forbes.
This post is also available in: Swedish