Monday, March 20, 2023

These wineries belong to the same luxury group

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Bottles from the LVMH Group can be found on almost every champagne shelf.

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Nicholas GreinacherEditor Wine

Founded in 1743, the champagne house produces more sparkling wine than anyone else with over 30 million bottles a year. In 1971, Moët & Chandon merged with the cognac manufacturer Hennessy, before merging with the luxury brand Louis Vuitton in 1987. This gave rise to the luxury group LVMH, which has been majority-owned by Frenchman Bernard Arnault (73) since 1989.

Although the fine champagne brand belongs to Moët & Chandon, it is marketed separately. The champagne house is named after the monk Dom Pierre Pérignon (1638-1715), who, thanks to the invention of the Coquard basket press, was able to press white wine from dark grape varieties for the first time. How many bottles Dom Pérignon fills each year is a well-kept secret.

Founded in 1729, Ruinart is considered the oldest champagne house ever. The impressive chalk mines below the earth’s surface extend over a total of eight kilometers and offer ideal conditions for the production and storage of first-class champagne.

Madame Clicquot (1777-1866) literally shook up the champagne world with the invention of the so-called shaking. It takes up to eight weeks to move champagne bottles from a horizontal to a vertical position after the second bottle fermentation, so that the yeast residue collects in the bottle neck.

Lovers of fine champagne can hardly escape the spell of this champagne house. In terms of quality, Krug is one of the absolute best, especially with wines that come from individual Grand Cru vineyards, such as Clos du Mesnil or Clos d’Ambonnay. Krug was founded in 1843 and has been part of the LVMH Group since 1999.

Some of the best sweet wines in the world come from this Bordeaux winery. However, the acquisition by LVMH did not go entirely smoothly. After certain family members sold their shares in LVMH, others wanted to prevent a takeover at all costs and forbid other family members to also sell their shares in LVMH. Be that as it may: Since 1999, Château d’Yquem has also belonged to LVMH.

The New Zealand flagship Sauvignon Blanc has also been part of the LVMH Group’s portfolio since 2003. Cloudy Bay is a good example of what happens as soon as LVMH invests in a winery: the quality of the wines increases, but unfortunately so does the price level.

LVMH also became active in Spain and acquired the Bodega Numanthia Termes winery in the Castilla y León region in 2008. Strong red wines from organically grown vines are pressed here. To save energy, the winery recently installed solar panels on the roofs.

This almost nine hectare winery in Burgundy has belonged to LVMH since 2014. After extensive investments in cellars and vineyards, not only the wine quality but also the price level has increased significantly.

LVMH’s most recent wine acquisition was in 2022. The American winery Joseph Phelps includes vineyards in Napa Valley and Sonoma and produces around 750,000 bottles annually. The flagship wine of the winery is the Insignia and was bottled for the first time in 1974.

The LVMH Group also holds other shareholdings in Château Cheval Blanc in Bordeaux, Colgin in the Napa Valley and Cheval des Andes in Argentina.

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