Wine guru shares wisdom on investing in vineyards

AXA Millesimes managing director Christian Seely discussed the issue of investing in vineyards at this year's annual Wine & Spirit Education Trust lecture.

Seely, whose vineyards include ­Château Pichon-Longueville Baron and Château Pibran in Bordeaux and Quinta do Noval in Portugal, talked about the pros and cons of investing in wine in his speech at Vintners' Hall on Oct 15.

For those

who do choose to invest, Seely emphasised the importance of ­terroir, but said the wine also needed to be produced well to truly be successful.

He said: "Given that making wine is one thing, and selling it is another, it is important to be very careful when choosing your vineyard site.

"Does it have potential for greatness? Will it be easy to convince the world that it does? It is helpful when the answer to both questions is yes.

"I would therefore recommend resisting the temptation to buy a vineyard that looks cheap in an obscure part of the world, especially if you are unsure of the underlying quality of its terroir, no matter how pretty the house."

Seely said demand for "great" wines had increased and that consumers were willing to pay more for them: "In almost every habitable place on the globe there is a growing number of people wanting to consume a wine that can only be made in one place. This is a good long-term position if you are the producer and you own the place in question."

He said that although risks were high when investing in vineyards, "so are the possible rewards".