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Domain owners at the top of France's fortunes ranking

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Le Nouvel Observateur recently published a list of the 500 richest families and people in France. The power of the luxury brands that are the great Bordeaux châteaux is beyond doubt; we therefore found it interesting to count the families in this classification who have a winemaking heritage.

In an article in June, we suggested that together, the big names in Bordeaux were worth more than 15 billion euros. It is therefore not surprising that the owners of wine estates on this list number in the dozens.

Apparently, the richest of them is Bernard Arnaud of LVMH, the luxury brand that includes Château d'Yquem and Château Cheval Blanc. François Pinault, owner of Château Latour, is the second domain owner in the top five of the ranking. Among the top 40 are Alan Wertheimer, head of Chanel (which owns Chateau Canon and Chateau Rauzan Segla); Robert Peugeot, who owns shares in Château Guiraud; as well as Martin and Olivier Bouygues for Château Montrose and Château Tronquoy Lalande. Unsurprisingly, the Rothschilds are among the top 100 in the ranking, as is Corinne Mentzelopoulos for Château Margaux.

There are also several well-known non-Bordeaux names in the top 200 of the ranking, including the Champagne families Moët, Chandon and Hennessy, the Leroy and Villaine families who own the Domaine Romanée Conti as well as the Nonancourts, owners of the Laurent Perrier group and the Champagne Lounge.

The table below shows some of the winery owners who made the list of the richest people this year.

Source: Livex

August 19, 2011

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