Making wine is not an endeavour to be undertaken lightly, but where do most deals take place, and what sort of prices should you expect if it’s something you’re considering?
It is a huge area; there are 200,000 to 220,000 hectares of vines in Languedoc-Roussillon alone, plus 60,000ha in the Rhône Valley and nearly 27,000ha in Provence, according to Aurélia Mistral-Bernard, based at the Montpellier office of estate agency network Vinea Transaction.
Prices vary considerably, from €10,000 per hectare of vines on average in the Côtes du Roussillon close to the Spanish border to more than €1m per hectare in the far north of the Rhône Valley, up in Côte-Rôtie, show the latest figures from French land agency Safer.
Which vineyard areas have seen a lot of activity?
Land towards the coast tends to be more expensive, but you can still pick up vineyards for around €70,000 per hectare in the upper parts of the Var, he said.
…Mistral-Bernard highlighted healthy demand in some of the newer, up-and-coming appellations in Languedoc, now part of the ‘Occitanie’ administrative region.
These include areas like La Clape near to Narbonne, Terrasses du Larzac near to Aniane further north and Pic-St-Loup, located around a mountain of the same name just outside of Montpellier.
Mistral-Bernard also said that organic vineyard deals were on the rise in general across the south, and that this trend has mainly developed in the last five to six years.
She added that ‘there are many vineyards for sale in Corbières and Minervois because a lot of winegrowers are retiring’.
However, ‘the prices are very attractive but the profitability in certain areas is low,’ she said, citing lack of irrigation options and future concerns about climate change, too.
Thinking about a strategy
When it comes to buying entire estates, including a residence, prices can range from a few hundred thousand euros to several million euros.
Mistral-Bernard highlighted a property with 20ha of vineyards and a manor house in a well-known appellation of Languedoc that is currently listed for around €500,000, but she said ‘there is a lot of investment to do’.
Another property with appellation-level vines in Languedoc is listed at €1.5m. ‘There’s work to do, but it’s profitable now,’ she said.
Others can cost significantly more, and non-trade buyers may face competition from wine companies, which have themselves have been increasingly active in up-and-coming appellations.
A ‘bastide’ complex with a swimming pool, 38ha of vines and a main château building around 15 minutes drive from Montpellier was listed by Vinea Transaction at €6.2m, or €5.9m excluding fees.
…Mistral-Bernard highlighted the need for buyers to consider their priorities, from the proximity of an international airport to their intentions around their chosen property.