Wines & Vines presents an analysis of land values in French wine regions, pointing out that the most prestigious vineyards “command very high prices compared to property in U.S. wine regions.” While the best sites in California have fetched $350,000 per acre, the top Bordeaux appellations have reached $800,000 or more. The most celebrated vineyards of France are “the most expensive in the world.”
Another point of note is that land in basic regional appellations in France actually dropped in value during the recent financial crisis while the most celebrated crus of Bordeaux and Burgundy continued to multiply in worth. Based on data from numerous sources, the magazine indicates that regional Bordeaux AOP averages €15,000 per hectare whereas Pauillac fetches €1,650,000, or approximately $8,000 and $887,000 per acre, respectively.
Regional Côtes du Rhône is quoted at €16,500 per hectare while Châteauneuf-du-Pape is priced at €340,000. In Burgundy, regional AOP vineyard is valued at €219,300 per hectare ($118,000/acre), premier cru white at €1,220,000/ha ($656,000/acre), and grands crus at €3,800,000/ha with a cru such as Bâtard-Montrachet reaching €22,500,000/ha (around $12 million/acre). A vineyard broker, Adam Dakin, says that in Burgundy, “they literally count the individual vines to calculate the value in the most prestigious crus.”
Comparison is drawn as well to Tuscany, where Chianti Classico sells for $54,000/acre and Montalcino for $161,000. One factor contributing to France’s vineyard values is the limitation on planting: each region has specific quotas for new vineyards and replanting. These rights “are frequently traded or bought and sold on the open market.”