Chinese tycoon to create ‘mini Versailles’ in Bordeaux

25th February, 2016 by Lucy Shaw

The second-richest man in China, Jack Ma, plans to create a “mini Versailles” in Entre-Deux-Mers having acquired Bordeaux estate Château de Sours.

Château de Sours

As reported by Decanter.com, billionaire Ma, founder of successful online retailer Alibaba, bought Château de Sours in Entre-Deux-Mers for an undisclosed sum.

Ma, who is estimated to have a personal wealth of US$21.5bn, has already set about renovating the château’s façade, courtyard, garden and cellars.

Keen to keep up appearances, Ma has hired the same architectural practice used by Château Cheval Blanc on the recent renovation of its winery and cellars.

Decanter.com reports that Ma has ambitions to create a “mini Versailles” at the estate. Château de Sours’ former owner Martin Krajewski, who owns Clos Cantenac in St-Emilion, will continue to consult for the estate for the foreseeable future.

Founded in 1792 by the Comtes du Richemont, Château de Sours produces red, white and rosé from Entre-Deux-Mers.

This isn’t the first high profile purchase of a Bordeaux château by a Chinese entrepreneur – over 100 estates in the region have been sold to Chinese investors since 2010. In 2012 Château Bellefont-Belcier in St Emilion was bought by an unnamed Chinese industrialist.

In early 2015 Château Renon was bought by Asian entrepreneur James Zhou, while Château de Birot was snapped up by a Chinese hotel group and Château Preuillac in the Médoc was acquired by an anonymous buyer in China.

Last December, Chinese wine producer Changyu bought 90% of Bordeaux Supérieur estate Château Mirefleurs from the Castel Group for €3.3 million. China remains the biggest buyer of small to medium-sized estates in Bordeaux.

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