Exclusive first look inside billionaire Jack Ma’s Bordeaux project

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Rumours have flourished since billionaire Jack Ma bought Château de Sours, but what is actually happening? Jane Anson reports on the team's bold plans and winemaking ambitions following a rare estate tour.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I arrived at Château de Sours on a beautifully sunny October morning. It was the beginning of a week where the skies were threatening to turn stormy but the heat from the summer was still evident, the vines green even though their grapes had been picked.

I drove up to the main Château entrance that I was used to from previous visits, before remembering that it is now closed off as the private residence of the world’s 17th richest man, and did a half-turn back to a carpark with a group of under-construction offices.

A small group was waiting for me and within minutes we were sat in a four-seater, open-topped Polaris Ranger embarking on a three-hour drive around the estate.

By turns we walked, or drove, but at no point did we visit a winery or even taste any wine. Instead what I got was an insight into one of the most remarkable projects I have visited in the region.

Translated by Sylvia Wu / 吴嘉溦

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