When the vineyard land is more expensive than your apartment

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Batard Montrachet vineyard
Batard Montrachet vineyard, copyright BKWine Photography

According to Le Journal du Vin.com, famous Burgundy house Domaine Leroy has recently bought 7 ouvrées of Batard-Montrachet, one of the most exclusive white Grand Cru vineyards in Puligny-Montrachet. An ouvrée equals 428 m2 and is an old measurement for plots of vineyards in Burgundy which is still widely used here, probably because in Burgundy you seldom buy entire hectares of land, you buy tiny, tiny parts of vineyards (an ouvrée used to indicate the size of land that one person could plough daily).

The price Leroy paid is not confirmed, though it is said to have been between 800 000 and 900 000 euro per ouvrée, which for the 7 ouvrées bought by Leroy means a nice little price tag of nearly 6 million euros. For 2996 m2 – less than a third of a hectare! Price is not confirmed, as mentioned, but earlier this year, also according to Le Journal du Vin.com, 8.5 ouvrées were bought at a price of 700 000 euro per ouvrée so it is probably not unreasonable. Except that it is, of course, unreasonable to pay this kind of money for a piece of land, be it one of the most prestigious vineyards in the world. I cannot begin to imagine the price of one ouvrée of Grand Cru Montrachet. (Update: Can be worth noting that the alleged price would equate to around some 20 million euros per hectare.)

Let’s make a quick calculation. Say they have a yield of 25 hl/ha, 2500 litres. For the 7 ouvrées that means 750 litres, just over 3 burgundy pièce barrels, or 1000 bottles. That means a land purchase price of some 6000 euros per annual bottle production capacity (1000 bottles, 850 k€/ouvrée, 7 ouvrées in total). A quick search seems to indicate that street price from a wine merchant for one bottle of Batard is around 80-100 euro (retail consumer price! But not Leroy). Over how long period do you amortise a burgundy vineyard? If it is over 50 years you have a 120€ per bottle cost per year. For the land. More: lejournalduvin.com

Have you ever tasted one? Tell us what you thought in a comment below!

Batard Montrachet Grand Cru 1964 Burgundy
Batard Montrachet Grand Cru 1964 Burgundy, copyright BKWine Photography

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