In most cases the signature of the “Acte” or what is referred to in many other countries as the completion of contracts or close of escrow takes place in the notaires office. The notaire performs an essential role for the verification, transfer, registration and insurance of the clean title of real estate in France.
From time to time the signature of the “Acte” will be signed in the residence or chateau itself.
Typically all family members will be present and depending on whether they are a part of the sellers’ ownership structure (and over 18) they will also need to sign the documents too. The buyer will be there in person or an authorized signatory such as a company director will be present to perform the confirmation of purchase.
The purchase process for the assets of a Bordeaux Winery is fairly structured and does not vary much from one project to another although it is not always precisely in the same order. There are only two methods of purchase – the first is the purchase of the Bordeaux Winery assets (often with the SAFER) and the second is the purchase the shares of the Bordeaux Winery. What follows is a typical day for the purchase of the Winery assets – it is a heavily summarized list and should you wish to learn more or understand some of the terms further please review some of our other blog posts and download our free “Essential tips for buying a Bordeaux vineyard” document which can be found to the right of this page.
1). Review of the parties signing the contract. Their marital status, birth date and address.
2). Precise Confirmation of what is being sold including each building, parcel map and title numbers.
3). Declaration that the SAFER warrant the CVI and states that the French government will most likely audit the parcels in the next two years.
4). Review of the SAFER due diligence findings. PCP’s, plant density, replanting requirements and any farm leases. Proof that the vine plots are in the AOC zone and confirmation of areas that are meadow and woodlands.
Review of the agricultural treatments have been done that are in accordance with the law.
5). Review of the wine marques that are included in the sale and their registration with the INPI. The seller declares that the brands are genuine, valid and useable in France especially in the context of the word chateau (also Domaine and Clos) for which there are specific rules and limitations.
6). Review of the material and equipment that is included in the sale. The SAFER confirms their findings and what conforms and what does not conform. For those machines that do not conform it just means that you cannot sell them notwithstanding that they can continue to be used. Technically therefore the non-conforming machines are not “sold” to the buyer they are gifted.
7). Confirmation of any materials that are located offsite in other locations.