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Bernard Arnault (LVMH) tops the Forbes list of richest people in the world

André Esteves (Argiano) and Alejandro Bulgheroni (Dievole and Poggio Landi) are among billionaires that own Estates in Italy
Bernard Arnault is once again number 1 on the Forbes ranking

It seems that war, International political uncertainties, stock market fluctuation and inflation do not affect the sleep of billionaires around the world. As a matter of fact, the US magazine Forbes has published its yearly International ranking of the richest people in the world, and once again first place goes to Bernard Arnault, patron of the LVMH luxury empire (an estimated wealth of 233 billion US dollars), which, in addition to controlling high fashion, cosmetics and jewelry brands, also controls many top wine brands, such as Moet & Chandon, Krug, Cheval Blanc and Chateau d’Yquem. There are no Italian US wine producers among the 2.781 billionaires (141 more than in 2023) on the ranking, however, there are two exceptional entrepreneurs who have made massive investments in Italian wine territories. One is the Brazilian André Santos Esteves (number 417 on the ranking, at 6.6 billion US dollars), who owns Argiano, one of the most beautiful Estates in Montalcino (its Brunello di Montalcino 2018 was elected “Wine of the Year” by the famous US magazine, Wine Spectator, in 2023), and the other is the Argentine oilman, Alejando Bulgheroni (number 626 and 4.9 billion US dollars), who owns the Alejandro Bulgheroni Family Vineyards Italia, counting leading companies in Tuscany such as Dievole in Chianti Classico, Poggio Landi in Montalcino and Tenuta Le Colonne and Tenuta Meraviglia in Bolgheri, totaling 330 hectares of vineyards. The first Italian on the ranking (in position number 26, and assets for 43.8 billion US dollars), is Giovanni Ferrero, CEO of Ferrero, one of the best-known Made in Italy brands in the world (think Nutella, now a global icon).
Forbes also selected many Italian entrepreneurs that even though they are in other sectors, have interests in the wine world, like Brunello Cucinelli (number 697 in the ranking, assets totaling 4.5 billion US dollars), who at Solomeo has been producing wine for quite a while: “Castello di Solomeo” (guided by the president of world oenologists, Riccardo Cotarella). Or, Renzo Rosso (number 871 at 3.7 billion US dollars), who owns Diesel and the Diesel Farm, where he makes wine in the Vicentine Hills, and his Brave Wines has shareholdings in Benanti (Etna) and Josetta Saffirio (Barolo).
At number 54 on the Forbes ranking, totaling assets for 31.6 billion US dollars is Francois Pinault, who is the founder and managing partner of Artémis Domaines, also controls, among others, wine companies such as Château Latour in Bordeaux, Clos de Tart in Burgundy , Château Grillet in the Rhone Valley, Bouchard Père et Fils, and Henriot and Jacquesson in Champagne, as well as Eisele Vineyard in Napa Valley and Beaux Frères in Oregon. At position number 162, having assets for 4.4 billion US dollars, is the American entrepreneur, Johann Rupert, at the top of the Richemont Group (which controls luxury brands such as Panerai, Cartier, Buccellati, Dunhil, and more), and owns L’Ormarins, one of the oldest in South Africa, where his family also controls companies such as La Motte, and Rupert & Rothschild, in partnership with the De Rothschild family. At number 334 (7.7 billion US dollars) is the Canadian Anthony Von Mandl, founder of Mark Anthony Group, which besides distributing wine & spirits, also owns several wineries in Canada, such as CedarCreek Estate Winery, Mission Hill, Road 13 Vineyards, ChekMate Artisanal Winery and Martins Lane. She does not produce wine, but the fortune of Maria Fernanda Amorim (number 522 at 5.7 billion US dollars), widow of Americo Amorim, who, for 60 years, until his death in 2017, led the Corticeria Amorim, is deeply connected to this sector, which also controls Amorim Cork, world leader in the production of cork stoppers. Among the Italian food & beverage names on the Forbes ranking, there is Luca Garavoglia, president of the Campari Group (which controls the Italian sparkling wine brands Cinzano, Mondoro and Riccadonna, Champagne Lallier, and others ), the brothers Giorgio and Augusto Perfetti, owners of the third largest confectionery group in the world (following the US giants Mondelez International and Mars), Marina Caprotti, CEO of the Esselunga supermarket chain, and Luigi Cremonini, owner of the Cremonini Group in the beef sector.
This year, the planet’s billionaires are richer than ever. They have combined assets totaling 14.2 trillion US dollars. Many of the gains come from the top 20, which have an added combined wealth of 700 billion US dollars since 2023, and from the United States, which now boasts a record 813 billionaires, totaling 5.7 trillion US dollars. China is in second place counting 473 billionaires (including Hong Kong), even though consumer spending is weaker and the real estate sector has collapsed. India is in third place with 200 billionaires.

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