July 27, 2021

In the middle of his vines, Bernard Magrez also cultivates start-ups and hops

At 85, owner of forty-two wine estates around the world, Bordeaux native Bernard Magrez, firmly established in his region, has not finished innovating. In addition to wine, this contemporary art and street art lover opened his Bordeaux cultural institute in 2011, which offers an art collection as well as temporary exhibitions. But this cultural center did not reopen its doors on May 19, unlike museums for example. We will have to wait until June, or even September.

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In the meantime, Bernard Magrez does not hide his desire to develop elsewhere than in these already tamed sectors. After acquiring Château Le Sartre in Léognan in 2017, he is in the process of transforming the site into an incubator for innovative start-ups in the wine industry, under a conquering title: Bernard Magrez Start-Up Win. Twenty-five young companies have already been working in this field since January. Ten companies from this first class, winners of a selection jury, will benefit from dual support, based on the expertise of the Unitec technology park and the experience of the businessman. This is the case of Luz Environnement, which wishes to raise awareness and organize the sector for the reuse and deposit of wine bottles in Gironde.

A beer in his name

Bernard Magrez now acts as a patron of these companies in a sector that is essential for New Aquitaine, a region at the forefront of French agriculture.

For Bernard Magrez, Château Le Sartre is also the base camp for a major project that is unexpected to say the least: to set up his first beer brewery there. The businessman, constantly turned towards novelty – he had started in strong spirits -, takes a keen interest in craft beer. So why not make one, in his name? Work is underway, and the project could see the light of day next fall.

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“We first want to set up our own brewery and produce quality beer before going further,” explains Sébastien Labat, director of the Bernard Magrez group subsidiaries. Because once he has launched his own beer, the latter has the ambition to invest in craft breweries located in New Aquitaine, “In the Basque Country, in Gironde, in the Landes”, in order to support their development, adds Mr. Labat. Who wants to specify all the same: “With deconfinement, the immediate priority is to relaunch wine tourism on our properties. Our beer projects will come next. ” We will therefore have to wait a bit to discover a new cru, this time hopped, stamped by Bernard Magrez.