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Les Grands Chais de France acquires negociant in north of Burgundy

Published:  08 April, 2015

French wine producer Les Grands Chais de France has bought a negociant in the north of Burgundy to boost its presence in the area.

The company, which is one of the largest producers in France, has bought Beaune-based négociant Tresch-Clerget for an undisclosed sum. 

The Burgundian negociant, which owns the Francois Martenot and Raoul Clerget brands, saw turnover of €59 million in 2013.

Tim North, UK director for Les Grands Chais de France, said the acquisition would extend the company's presence in the "classic, more northern parts" of the Burgundy region.

The acquisition of Tresch-Clerget brings LGC a modern bottling site in Beaune and the opportunity to develop and benefit from the negociant's long-established relationships with local growers, which North said would strengthen the company's reach in the area.

"Northern Burgundy has been an areas of weakness for LCG - and it is important to be on the ground, so it is an exciting move for us in a new area," he said. "The acquisition dovetails neatly with the group's previous investment in the Mâconnais, where Sylvie Ravier, our winemaker at subsidiary Pasquier Desvignes, already implemented a significant vinification programme in 2014."

Tresch-Clerget's negociants business previously formed part of the wider Groupe Tresch, but Harpers understands the company was affected by the low yielding vintages in 2012 and 2013, which saw a dramatic fall in exports from Burgundy.

Les Grands Chais de France has wineries stretching from the Loire in the north west, to Alsace, the Jura, Beaujolais, the Rhône, and across to the Languedoc and Bordeaux. It also works with a network of regional winemakers to buy in grapes from over 1,100 winegrowers across France. Its brands the best-selling French brand worldwide, JP Chenet, Arthur Metz, Lacheteau, Château de Cléray, Château de Fesles, Château Cantin, Clos Beauregard, Pasquier-Desvignes, and Domaine de la Baume. Turnover in 2012 was €841m and its on-trade division, GCF Exclusif, represents a portfolio of over 700 wines.

The company is one of the largest producers to sign up to the Harpers Best Practice Guidelines and pledge its support to the independent merchant sector.