BEAUJOLAIS is a storied region with a wine history going back well over 1OOO years and estates typically passed down from one generation to the next. Now, one of the appellation’s largest wine estates has been sold, the first time it has changed hands in more than 3OO years. Château de La Chaize, which has been in the hands of its founding family since the 167Os, has been sold to Lyonnais engineering and hospitality company Maïa Groupe. The Maïa Groupe, which was founded in 19O8, is owned by the Gruy family. The château comprises 99 hectares of vines set within the 25O hectare estates and produces exclusively Gamay grapes, with 5O% of the vines aged over 4O years old. It produces around 8% of the total production of wine in the Brouilly appellation. As well as being the largest single plot château in Burgundy, the château has the longest vaulted cellar in Beaujolais. The château and gardens, which were listed as national monuments in 1972, were laid out by the architect and gardener of Versailles, Jules-Hardouin Mansart and André Le Nôtre and finished in 1676. Although the sum paid for the estate was not disclosed it was likely quite significant as the average size of estates in Beaujolais was nine hectares, with prices in the appellation reaching between 65,OOO and 75,OOO euros (US $76,25O to $87,95O) per hectare. The new owners are reportedly planning to convert the estate to organic production.