Treasury Wine Estates, Australia's largest wine group with 13,000 hectares of vineyards worldwide (Oceania, Asia, America, Europe) and owner of the flagship Penfolds, has set its sights on the Haut-Médoc for a few years:
- Cambon-la-Pelouse, 65 ha in Haut-Médoc, acquired in 2019,
- Belle-Vue, 15 ha in Haut-Médoc, acquired in 2021,
- Gironville, 5 ha in Haut-Médoc, acquired in 2021,
- Bolaire, 7 ha in Bordeaux (but bordering Haut-Médoc), acquired in 2021.
Moreover, T.W.E. has just acquired this month Lanessan (+ Lachesnaye), a vast agricultural estate of 390 ha including 80 ha of vineyards in Haut-Médoc. In a short time, T.W.E. will have become one of the most important producers of the Médoc and nothing indicates that they will stop there (by enlarging for example the vineyard within the Lanessan domain?).
With nearly 35,000 acres, Gironde is since 2019 the 1st French department by its surface of organically cultivated vineyards [source Ministry of Agriculture].
Gironde is followed by 8 departments of the south-east and then by the Loire Valley (Anjou):
1. Gironde : 34370 ac
2. Hérault (Mediterranean coast): 30280 ac
3. Gard (Mediterranean coast): 29530 ac
4. Vaucluse (Rhone Valley): 27100 ac
5. Aude (Mediterranean coast) : 21600 ac
6. Var (Mediterranean coast): 20100 ac
7. Pyrénées Orientales (Mediterranean coast): 12840 ac
8. Drôme (Rhone Valley): 9840 ac
9. Bouches-du-Rhône (Mediterranean coast): 8730 ac
10. Maine-et-Loire (Loire Valley): 7200 ac
In Europe, France is in 3rd position with 232300 ac (14% of the national vineyard), behind Spain (280300 ac) and Italy (263000 ac).
The new classification of Saint-Emilion wines was published on Thursday 8th September, with :
- 2 first great classified growths A, Pavie and Figeac,
- 12 first great classified growths (the same as the previous classification of 2012),
- 71 grands crus classés (they were 64 in 2012).
The least we can say is that the new classification did not create the event (unlike the death of Elizabeth II in the same day). There are several reasons for this:
- the prior announcement of the withdrawal of 7 classified growths, and not the least: Ausone, Cheval-Blanc, Angélus, La Gaffelière, La Clotte, Quinault-l'Enclos, Les Grandes Murailles,
- only one promotion to Premier Grand Cru Classé A, Figeac, already envisaged and long awaited,
- no new promotion to premier grand cru classé, as the 12 growths selected were already at this rank in 2012.
Despite everything, this classification rewards the efforts of 16 new grand cru classé wines (including Clos Saint-Julien, that we have been defending since 2010), to whom we wish to make the most of their new reputation both in France and on export markets, until the next classification (2032).