So much money has probably never been paid for a vineyard, at least not in Burgundy. The company LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy) recently bought Domaine du Clos des Lambrays in Morey-Saint-Denis for, according to Bourgogne Aujourd’hui, 101 million euros. Clos des Lambrays is an estate of over 10 hectares primarily consisting of 8.70 hectares of Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru.
This Grand Cru is almost a monopoly vineyard, i.e. a vineyard with only one owner, but not quite. Family estate Domaine Taupenot-Merme owns 430 square meters which corresponds to one ouvrée. Ouvrée is a measure used in Burgundy since the estates so often have very small holdings.
The purchase also included just under 2 hectares of Morey-Saint-Denis Villages, some premiers crus vineyards in Puligny-Montrachet, beautiful buildings and 40 000 bottles of Clos des Lambrays 2012 and 2013. Even so, we hesitate to call this a bargain price.
Clos des Lambrays was nominated Grand Cru late, not until 1981. Only the nomination of La Grande Rue in Vosne-Romanée is of later date (1991). And maybe Pommard soon will have its first Grand Cru. (Some reporting has cited it as “one of the oldest grand cru vineyards” which is not correct.)
Read more on bourgogneaujourdhui.com
UPDATE: This may perhaps be the most money paid for a vineyard but it is not the highest price paid per hectare. That prize goes to another Burgundy transaction some time ago. In 2012 The French super-rich industrialist François Pinault bought 0.0417 hectares (or 0.0428 according to some sources, around one ouvrée, 1/24th of a hectare) for 1 million euro, according to media sources. More than 2300 euro per square metre, or 24 million per hectare. In comparison the Clos des Lambrays transaction gives “only” 11.6 million euro per hectare, if we disregard the, in comparison, insignificant 2 ha of village wine, or 1160 euro per square metre. (Thank you Anne Jones for pointing out this oversight.)