Fronsac helicopter tragedy: mournings and hopes remain at château la Rivière

Friday January 03 2014 by Vitisphere

Nearby Libourne, the Dordogne river has been giving the château la Rivière its name for centuries. Unfortunately, on December 20, the river snatched four lives out of the main Fronsac vineyard (65 hectares of vines). However, this day started gladly. And the festive season was at its high when the wine negociant James Grégoire (Vintex et Grégoire Vignobles*) officially gave his keys of château la Rivière to its new Chinese owner : investor Kok Lam (co-chairman of Brilliant group). The two men just signed the deed of sale the day before. This day marked in a friendly way the property transmission. Enjoying the weather, James Grégoire proposed to the Kok family to fly over the vineyard in his helicopter, as he usually did. Despite his experience as a pilot (700 hours of flight), the helicopter dropped during its flight in the Dordogne river. With Wang Peng (Head of Franco-Chinese relations in the Brilliant group), Lam Kok and his son. At the moment, police investigation favors the hypothesis of a mechanical defect.

Wife of Lam Kok, Liu Kok became the chairman of Brilliant. She advanced traditional Buddhist blessing ceremonies, consecrating by water and olive branches the property, while prayers celebrated the fallen. Technical Director of château la Rivière since 1997, Xavier Buffo was appointed general manager of the property in the morning of the tragedy. Even if he still doesnot realized the full horror of it, he took the reins of the château in order to ensure its continuity, while invesment and wine tourism development projects are still on, combinating wines from Libourne and teas, the specialty of Brilliant. The construction of a luxury hotel is still planned.



*: James Grégoire bought château la Rivière in 2003, after he sold in 2000 the Grégoire group (specialized in harvesting machinery) .



[Source: Vitisphere ; Photo : château la Rivière, Vintex et Grégoire Vignobles]


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