In the States, indie wine making is all the rage. However, across the pond, big corporations continue to scoop up marquis properties. The latest entry is Château de La Chaize, the largest estate in Beaujoulais and Burgundy. Although, the historic property was owned and operated by the same family for over 300 years, it is now in the hands Maïa Groupe, an engineering and hospitality conglomerate according to French daily Le Progrès.
Le Progrès reported that the Maïa Groupe purchased the 600+ acre property from Caroline de Roussy de Sales and her family for an undisclosed price. In, 1670, her ancestor, François de La Chaize purchase the land, then called “La Douze,” and it has been passed down ever since.
“We decided, as a family, to sell the estate. It was necessary to seize this opportunity to privilege the permanence of the place,” de Sale told the French paper.
La Chaize is situated in Brouilly which means that their 99 hectares of vineyard are devoted entirely to growing the gamay grape. According to their website, 50% of the vines are older than 40 years old, with some vines as old as 80 years. Four different wines are produced on site: the popular Brouilly Château de La Chaize; the showpiece Cuvee “Vieilles Vignes”; the aging friendly Réserve de La Marquise; and the bright Rosé Château de La Chaize.
The vineyard’s appeal exceeds mere wine; the stunning La Chaize property has been on the register of “Monuments Historiques” since 1972. From 1674 to 1676, a castle designed by Jules-Hardouin Mansart, the King’s Chief Architect, and Thomas Blanchet, architect and painter of the Town Hall and the Saint Pierre Palace in Lyon, was constructed on the property. The garden design was undertaken by André Le Nôtre, the king’s gardener, during the same years. Over time, the historic grounds became a popular tourist destination.
The Drinks Business reported that while the Maïa Groupe’s annual revenues exceed 100 million Euros, the corporation plans to stick close to vineyard’s roots. The already eco-friendly production has plans to convert to 100% organic under the new ownership.