Sir Alex Ferguson is reported to be interested in acquiring a vineyard in France, following his impending retirement from Manchester United football club.
Reports in the UK press have suggested that Ferguson, who this week announced his retirement from managing Manchester United after nearly 27 years, could spend around £2m on a vineyard in the south of France as soon as this summer.
The outgoing manager's love of fine wine is well-documented. Earlier this year, in an interview with radio station SiriusXM FC, he compared Real Madrid and ex-United player Cristiano Ronaldo to a 1961 Petrus.
Moving from drinking to producing, however, would require some careful thought. According to Alexander Hall, director of Bordeaux-based consultancy Vineyard Intelligence, prospective vineyard investors must often decide between a small plot in a renowned appellation, or a larger estate somewhere less prestigious.
'You pay your money and make your choice,' he told Decanter.com. A name, however, can count for a lot, even if a wine is backed by a celebrity. 'The estate agent slogan is location, location, location, only that I would say it's 'appellation, appellation, appellation,' said Hall, who is a licensed real estate professional and tutor at the Ecole du Vin de Bordeaux.
More generally, Hall added that demand for vineyards has improved since a troubled period immediately following the global financial crisis, but the extent of the recovery 'depends on which part of the market you're in'.
In Bordeaux, in particular, he said demands remains healthy, thanks to interest from new regions of the world, such as China.