Perched on the banks of the Gironde estuary in southwestern France, the pink mansion of Chateau Loudenne is surrounded by 116 acres of planted vines that run downhill toward the water. Until recently, a pole on its bay-facing terrace carried the corporate flag of its then-owner — mainland China’s largest listed company.
Kweichow Moutai Co. bought the 17th-century property in 2013 to produce wine for the burgeoning middle-class back home. But its failure to deliver drove the vineyard into receivership and ended with its March sale to a French entity. As the new owners put Loudenne’s lost decade behind it, there are few remaining signs of its previous proprietor at the castle other than a lone bottle of Baijiu, China’s traditional alcohol, displayed in one of its salons.