Rugby club owner adds Lafon Rochet to portfolio

Bordeaux Jacky Lorenzetti, the chairman of the Terreis real estate company and majority owner of the Racing Metro 92 rugby club, and leading Bordeaux winemaker Emmanuel Cruse have bought Château Lafon Rochet in St Estephe from Michel Tesseron and his sister Caroline Poniatowski.

The 4eme cru Lafon Rochet is bought by Jacky Lorenzetti
The 4eme cru Lafon Rochet is bought by Jacky Lorenzetti

In 2008, when he sold the Foncia real estate business which managed over a million and a half properties, Lorenzetti, embarked on building a collection of significant Bordeaux wine estates.

The first purchase was of Chateau Lilian Ladouys in Saint-Estèphe, followed, the next year following year by Chateau Pédesclaux the Pauillac neighbour of Lafite-Rothschild. Four years later he acquired 50% du Chateau d’Issan in Margaux from the Cruse family, since when Emmanuel Cruse, one of the region’s most highly respected has headed the Lorenzetti wine business.

Lorenzetti is still closely involved with the property sector – as chairman of Terreis, the company he founded, but Bordeaux is clearly a passion for him, and his wife Françoise, who was born in the region.

The desirability of Chateau Lafon-Rochet to a buyer like Lorenzetti is a testament to the efforts of the Tesseron family which bought the fourth-growth property in 1959. 

At the time the 17ha of vines were in a deplorable state and the building uninhabitable. The vineyards were restored, a process that involved considerable replanting, as previously Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon vines had been planted in inappropriate soil. They were also extended to cover 38ha, almost all of which – unusually – is in a single block. 

When Basile Tesseron Michel’s son who took over management of the estate in 2010, he switched to organic methods, without applying for certification. Controversially, in 2017 however, while wanting to pursue ‘natural’ viticulture, he upset other organic producers by raising the issues of copper residues in the soil and the effects on the environment of the fossil fuel use by tractors.

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