Two Iconic Wineries Change Hands – Wine & Spirits Magazine

Two Iconic Wineries Change Hands


Château Climens (Photo: Frédéric Nivelle)

After thirty years as manager of Château Climens, Bérénice Lurton sold a majority stake of the estate on July 4, 2022, to Jean-Hubert Moitry and members of his family. Moitry is president of the French real estate company, Patrimonia Développement; his wife, Catherine, comes from a family of wine merchants. Château Climens, awarded Premier Cru status in the 1855 Bordeaux Classification, is one contiguous parcel in Barsac, the vineyard planted solely to sémillon. Lurton’s father, Lucien, had purchased the estate in 1971.

In a press release, Lurton stated her plans to continue to help manage Château Climens, alongside Frédéric Nivelle, who has served as technical director for the past 25 years. Moitry stated that his brother, Jérôme, will also aid in management, and that his family hopes to integrate their four daughters into the business in the coming years.

Joseph Phelps Vineyard (Photo: Matt Morris)
Photo: Briana Marie

On June 29, 2022 Moët Hennessy, the wines and spirits division of LVMH, announced the acquisition of Joseph Phelps Vineyards. Joseph Phelps founded the winery in Napa Valley in 1973, growing it from a small cattle ranch into an estate known for its proprietary red blend, Insignia. Phelps, with vineyards in both Napa Valley and Sonoma Coast, is the second California winery to join the LVMH portfolio, following Napa Valley’s Newton Vineyard in 2001.

Elizabeth Phelps Neuman and Will Phelps will continue to manage the winery, along with winemakers Ashley Hepworth in Napa Valley and Justin Ennis on the Sonoma Coast.

Based in Los Angeles, California, Alissa Bica is a sommelier at 71 Above as well as Tastings Coordinator at Wine & Spirits. She also co-runs the home wine tasting company, Côte Brune and Blonde. In any rare moments of free time, she writes about obscure grape varieties in the blog Off the Beaten Wine Path.


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