The huge French trading company headquartered in Bordeaux was founded in 1949 by four brothers of the Castel family. President is Pierre Castel. The company plays a significant role in Bordeaux wine trade, but is in France also active in the trade with cellar and viticulture technology. In addition to the main segment Wine also counts one beer brand and various soft drinks for the product portfolio. With numerous acquisitions and participations since the early 1990s, it is one of the largest wine trading companies worldwide. In 1992 the company La Sociéte des Vins de France was acquired, in 1998 the Nicolas chain, in 1999 the Domaines Virginie in Languedoc and finally in 2002 the English chain Oddbins.
The company also owns around 15 châteaux in the Bordeaux and in the Provence with a total of several thousand hectares of vineyards. These are, for example, Château d'Arcins, Château Barreyres, Château Beychevelle (since 2011, share ownership with the Japanese company Suntory ), Château Bousquet, Château Ferrande, Château Montlabert and Château Tour Prignac. There is also a joint venture with the large Chinese wine multinational Yantai Changyu, where Chinese wines are produced and French vines are marketed. Every year, around 500 million bottles are sold in over 80 countries on all five continents. The German company has been operating since 2006 Racke in Bingen ( Rheinland-Pfalz ) Sales partner in Germany. See also under globalization and largest wine companies in the world,