Vineyards / Farm Properties in France

Leisure & Land has worked in partnership with the French Agricultural Agency for almost 20 years. This gives us access to local expertise and knowledge in most regions of France.

With vineyards and farms, the real-estate value of property varies hugely from region to region; Vines in parts of Bordeaux and Burgundy at more than 1M€ per hectare and houses in Provence at 3 times the price of Bordeaux.

After 25 years of selling all agricultural properties in France, we insist that it is not a project to be attempted on a shoestring!

Land areas for growing wines are limited throughout France and are graded according to the quality of the soil/grapes produced.

Since 2010, the categories and classifications of wine producing land and the wines themselves are changing:

AOC ( appellation d’origine controllée) is renamed AOP (appellation d’origine protegée)
VDP ( vin de pay) is renamed IGP (indication géographique protégée) or AOP (depending upon quality).
VDT (vin de table) remains unchanged for the immediate future.

Why change the names; in order to bring French wine production in line with the rest of Europe.

As before, the volume of wine produced per hectare is limited and controlled.

AOC/AOP is limited to 45 – 55 hectolitres per hectare
VDP/IGP is limited to 80-90 hectolitres per hectare

In broad terms, the AOC/AOP classification refers to the land and the blend of grapes; The IGP is related to the land and soil, with a quality requirement, not necessarily relating to blends.

The work in a vineyard is divided into 3 distinct stages:

  1. Farming - pruning, treating and harvesting the grapes. This work can be done by employed staff (1 man per 10-15 hectares), by contract labour or enthusiastic owners.
  2. Wine Making - vinification, controlling fermentation, blending different grape varieties and bottling.
  3. Marketing - the most difficult of the three jobs: to achieve maximum profitability from a vineyard the wine must be sold in bottles. Vitually all wines have a potential market and the success of a vineyard depends on the ability to sell at the optimum time at the highest price and not from necessity for cash flow.

Each of these stages can be contracted out to professionals to the point of handing over the running of an estate in return for a percentage of the production (average 1/3rd)

Prices vary dramatically in the different wine regions of France. The most expensive vines being in Bordeaux and Burgundy, the most expensive real estate being in Provence. It is necessary to deduct the real estate value of the house etc. from an estate to calculate the profitability.

The sale price of an estate will depend on certain factors: wine region, quality of real estate, condition of vines, and clientele.

It is worth paying a premium for an estate with good vines and an established bottle market.

Our answer is yes, but it is not easy and often takes 3 to 5 years.

There are qualified people available to assist at every stage and with time the owner can become involved to whatever extent the time allows. Leisure and Land (France) can assist in the legal and fiscal restructuring of an estate as well as recruiting staff or contractors.

Since 1994 Leisure and Land have been selling vineyards in France; providing the finance is available and professional advice is followed the adventure can be rewarding in every sense.