According to the latest survey by Agreste for the Ministry of Agriculture, the average price of vineyard land suitable for producing appellation wines (PDO) was €60,000/hectare in 2013 (excluding Champagne). A breakdown of this average reveals a much more chequered picture however, reflecting the range of appellations. Between 2003 and 2006, the price of vineyards declined in most appellations, then started to rise again over the last few years on the basis of location and quality of the growing site.
Michel Veyrier, founder of Vinéa Transactions, describes the market for French vineyards as “a system of tiers, rising up in a pyramid shape, with prices increasing the most at the top. Vineyards that are already very expensive are those that will increase the most over the next few years because they are extremely rare and their elite clientele is expanding. For example, the price of Vacqueyras vineyards has increased three-fold, Gigondas four-fold, Châteauneuf-du-Pape five-fold and Hermitage ten-fold”.
In Gironde, the average price of appellation vineyards rose by 25% between 2000 and 2013. The increase was sparked by the extremely dynamic and most prestigious appellations, particularly the five following areas: Pomerol, Margaux, Saint-Julien, Saint-Estèphe and Pauillac. Between 2006 and 2013, average prices in these areas more than doubled, rising from €390,000/hectare to €810,000/ha. Saint-Emilion has plateaud at €200,000/ha for the last ten years. In Burgundy, appellation vineyards are worth €230,000/ha, up 5% in a year. Conversely, the price of other appellations has remained stable – this is true of sweet white wine areas such as Sauternes, Cadillac-Côtes de Bordeaux and Right Bank counterparts Loupiac and Sainte-Croix du Mont.
For great growths in the most prestigious appellations, prices have soared to new heights: over 9 million euros per hectare in Burgundy, 2.4 million in Pomerol, 2 million in Pauillac, 1.8 million in the Côte des Blancs (Champagne) and 1 million in Saint-Emilion. In the northern Côtes du Rhône, the highly coveted AOC Cornas and Côte Rôtie have rocketed to €500,000 and 1 million euros respectively.
For Michel Veyrier, “the good investments are in the finest wine areas of each region but also in a number of growths or quality appellations that are still under-valued such as Crozes-Hermitage, where prices won’t stay at the current level for much longer. For other regions producing generic wines, the prices will generally stay the same”.