Denz Acquires Wine Estate Lafaurie-Peyraguey From GDF

Silvio Denz, chairman of Swiss perfume and cosmetics maker Art & Fragrance SA, bought Sauternes wine estate Chateau Lafaurie-Peyraguey from French energy company GDF Suez to add to his winery holdings in the Bordeaux region.

The estate, ranked as a Sauternes first growth in the 1855 classification for the sweet white dessert wine, covers 36 hectares (89 acres) and is situated in the commune of Bommes, according to an e-mailed statement from Denz.

The purchase of the vineyard, a neighbor of top-ranked Sauternes grower Chateau d’Yquem, comes 30 years after GDF Suez acquired the property, investing since then in technical improvements to the winery and the restoration of the chateau. No price was disclosed.

The vineyard is composed of 93 percent Semillon grapes, 6 percent Sauvignon Blanc and 1 percent Muscadelle, grown from vines whose average age is 40 years, according to the statement. The oldest date back to 1926, and the average annual yield is 60,000 bottles.

Denz, 57, is also chairman of jewelry and glassware maker Lalique and owns vineyards in Bordeaux, Spain and Tuscany. He controls Chateau Peby Faugeres and Chateau Faugeres in Saint-Emilion, Chateau de Chambrun in Lalande de Pomerol and Chateau Cap de Faugeres in Castillon Cotes de Bordeaux, as well as owning stakes in Chateau Rocheyron in Saint-Emilion with Peter Sisseck, Clos d’Agon in Spain and Montepeloso in Italy.

Denz’s aim is to produce both sweet and dry white wines from the Sauternes estate, complementing the red wines from the other seven vineyards.

(Corrects description of GDF Suez in first paragraph of story published Feb. 4. For wine news, click on TOP WINE.)
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