Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

France’s biggest wine company, was founded in Bordeaux by nine Castel brothers and sisters in 1949 and is still family-owned. As well as owning dozens of Bordeaux châteaux and selling prodigious quantities of wine, Castel is an important distributor of beer and water in France and North Africa. Castel acquired barton & Guestier, the Bordeaux négociant, and bought the Nicolas retail chain in 1988, their chief rival Société des Vins de France in 1992, Domaines Virginie in the Languedoc in 1999, the British retail chain Oddbins in 2002 (which it subsequently sold off), and the Burgundy négociant Patriarche in 2011. It is also involved in a joint venture for the production of Chinese wine and distribution ofFrench wines in china with changyu and, together with suntory of Japan, owns a Bordeaux négociant and Chx Beaumont and Beychevelle.