Alexander Hall graduated from Oxford in law and worked in banking until a sabbatical on his stepfather’s vineyards prompted him to move to Bordeaux. He set up Vineyard Intelligence to offer on- and off-market property search in France, as well as audit, evaluation and negotiation services and post-acquisition advice.
‘There’s not really anyone that does what we do,’ he says.
Clients are varied, and reasons for wanting a vineyard range from pleasure to business. Hall describes it as a ‘hyper niche’ investment and warns it’s not a simple process: ‘There are fantastic lifestyle elements associated with owning and running a vineyard. The bottom line is to do it as a business and look at things like production costs before you can expect all of these lifestyle elements.’
Hall holds a French property transactions licence, is a tutor at the Ecole du Vin de Bordeaux, and describes running his firm as the ‘perfect job’. Buying a vineyard represents something of a next step for wine obsessives, who ‘say they are going to provide their wine in a certain style, influence and all these other elements around it like designing the label’, he says. There’s also the farming aspect, which Hall says is ‘very concrete, real and the oldest industry. It is a very inner human connection we all have.’