Sierre, Valais, Switzerland (Le Nouvelliste, Fre) – Rouvinez, Sierre-based winery, will buy Charles Bonvin & Fils, including 20 hectares of vineyard, to become the largest private wine company in Valais. Valais is Switzerland’s largest wine-producing canton, with 40 percent of the country’s wine: 45 million litres in 2008. The sale, reportedly for some CHF10 million, will keep the oldest wine cellar in Valais in local hands.
The owners, who have no family to continue the business, had talked to companies in German-speaking Switzerland and abroad, but told Le Nouvelliste they are happy with the sale because it ensures the vineyard’s future. Employees had been unable to come up with enough money to buy the company. Small shareholders retain 20 percent, which Rouvinez said it will negotiate over time to buy.
Jean-Bernard Rouvinez told the newspaper that no layoffs are foreseen and the line of wines for which Charles Bonvin is famous will continue. The vineyards are well planted and will remain as is, with possibly the addition of some Chasselas (known as fendant wine in Valais), whose popularity is growing, he notes.