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Delhi Wine Club

Posted: Wednesday, 14 April 2010 10:56

Cheval Blanc for Dom Perignon Lovers

LVMH, makers of Dom Perignon and other luxury products like Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Fendi, Givenchy and Tag Heuer are expanding the luxury segment of the market by moving into the management of deluxe hotel business under Cheval Blanc brand.

Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy owns Cheval Blanc, one of the only two Grand Cru Class A wineries of Saint Emilion in Bordeaux. It has already opened a ski resort owned by the group in 2006 within the up-market French Alps destination of Courchevel. The resort is owned by the LVMH Chairman and Chief Executive Bernard Arnault's holding company.

Two resort hotels under the brand are scheduled to open in 2012 in Oman and Egypt. LVMH will run the resorts under a manager contract similar to other luxury chains like the Ritz-Carlton. As with similar concepts, the hotels will showcase the extensive luxury brands owned by the group, including Dior and Louis Vuitton merchandise.

This appears to be a natural transition as more luxury brands pursue alternate projects for growth while staying consistent with brand heritage and increasing their presence globally. The move follows steps by other brands such as Armani, Bulgari, Versace and Ralph Lauren to diversify into the hotel business.

LVMH announced a partnership with Egyptian firm Orascom Development Holdings last week. The Egyptian venue is located on a private island in Aswan, while the Oman project will include 32 private villas on the island of Al Sodah.

This initial programme is set to cost US$100 million, of which Orascom will provide $40m, while the rest of the funding will come from other investors. LVMH has planned the project in such a way that its own capital involvement is minimal. It will only manage the hotels and take a percentage of sales and profits.

Besides owning the classified growth of Bordeaux’s Chateau d’Yquem and the Grand Cru ‘A’ Cheval Blanc in St. Emilion and the iconic Dom Perignon Champagne, LVMH also owns Moet et Chandon, Krug, Domaine Chandon California and Hennessy Cognac, Glenmorangie, Belvedere as some of the popular wine and spirits labels.

Cheval Blanc may not have a sizable following in India but Dom Perignon and Louis Vuitton are known and accepted as iconic labels and it would be a matter of time before the company is expected to set its eyes on India where the hotel industry is currently getting into a boom phase and it already has a sizeable presence.


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