Europe's third biggest insurance group, Generali, has bought Bordeaux chateau La Pointe, in Pomerol, for a reported sum of between EUR32m (US$46.9m) and EUR35m.

"For Generali, already an important agricultural property holder in Italy including vineyards, this is a very considered purchase," said Eric Monneret, La Pointe's new director.

Monneret, director of Generali's other Bordeaux property the 90-hectare Chateau La France, said insurance companies are obliged to have a wide spread of investments in case of market crashes.

With La Pointe, which produces about 120,000 bottles a year, selling for EUR30-EUR60 each, Generali was only interested in a top quality acquisition, he said.

Bottles of Chateau La France, which produces about 500,000 bottles annually, sell for around EUR7.

The deal finalising the sale by the d'Arfeuille family, owners of La Pointe since 1941, was signed at the end of October.