When it comes to French vineyards and large sprawling estates intended for winemaking, it seems to be an understanding that the owners would be French. However, recent years have shown France as a more of a stagnant force in the global economy, which has forced estates to be sold for rich foreigners.
The most recent sale caused a lot of publicity, with the purchase of Chateau de la Riviere. Hong Kong businessman, Lam Kok, made his fortune in fine tea and luxury hotels but soon set his sights on French winemaking.
Lam Kok was the center of a large news conference when he took ownership of the chateau and then was invited to take a helicopter ride to tour the estate. The former owner of the chateau, Lam Kok, his 12-year-old son amd an interpreter all went up in the helicopter after the news conference.
The Associated Press released a statement quoted Vincent Corbel of the regional gendarme service saying, “The helicopter soon dived into the Dordogne River, for reasons that remain unclear. Emergency workers recovered the boy’s body and most of the helicopter, but are still searching for the other victims. The former owner of the Chateau de la Riviere vineyards, James Gregoire, owned the helicopter, a Robinson R44, had undergone maintenance checks two days before the crash.”