The Aquitaine branch of French bank, Crédit Agricole (CA Aquitaine) is to set up a fund dedicated to investing in wine-making estates in the Bordeaux region.

The fund, which will initially have around EUR100m (US$153m) at its disposal, will be managed by one of the bank's risk capital arms. It will target estates which have been earmarked for full or partial sale due mainly to problems of succession.

CA Aquitaine's managing director, Guy Château, said the fund would target quality vineyards and that several investment projects were currently under consideration. 

The branch has already invested in the region's wine sector. In 2004, in association with other units of the Crédit Agricole group, it acquired six estates of Bordeaux trader, Cordier-Mestrezat, each producing both crus classes and crus bourgeois. They include the Châteaux Rayne Vineaux and Grand-Puy Ducasse. The 6 estates have since been grouped under the CA Grands Crus name, a portfolio covering almost 900 hectares.