110 hectares of vineyards in the Charente Maritime is to be purchased by a Russian vodka producer from St Petersburg.
Current owner, Jacky Chat, whose vines are divided into 18 plots over the communes of Beauvais sur Matha and Varaize et Migron, sells all his eaux-de-vie to Hennessy. He started his business in 1973 with only 6 hectares of vines. Now, at 63 years old he has no heir to take over, so thought that the time was right to sell.
He admits that he let it be known months ago that he was open to offers for his business – and has had contacts with other growers and small cognac houses. However, the Russians were the fastest to come up with an offer and were probably the highest bidder. He’s been asked to remain on for the next three years, continuing to sell their wares to Hennessy and keeping the company’s four employees in a job.
This is the sixth company in this sector that has been bought by Russians in the past few years, creating virtually a Russian enclave. These include the domain Jenssen a Bonneuil, Domaine Broix a Touzan and A. de Fussigny.