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Billionare and Alibaba Founder Buys Bordeaux Vineyard

Jack Ma apparently wants to create a "mini Versailles."

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Flickr/Phil Roeder

The second richest person in China just spent an undisclosed (read: massive) amount of money to purchase the Bordeaux wine estate Château de Sours, Decanter.com reports. Jack Ma, founder of the Chinese company Alibaba, is apparently the latest in a slew of wealthy Chinese investors putting their money into Bordeaux and other fine French wine.

Alibaba, of course, is the highly profitable e-commerce company that remains a crown jewel in Yahoo's holdings. Yahoo, the tech-media giant that has recently fallen on hard times, was considering a sale of its stake in Alibaba last year. That plan has since been put on hold. Today, Yahoo's core business is instead for sale as it works to trim the fat.

Château de Sours produces red and white wines that range in price from around $10 per bottle (retail) to nearly $100 per bottle, depending upon the vintage. Ma, whose personal wealth is estimated at $21.5 billion, intends to turn the estate in to a mini-Versailles, of sorts, and renovations have already begun to transform the facade, courtyard, and garden, according to reports. Additional work will be done on the 18th century limestone cellars on site. The previous owner of the estate, Martin Krajewski, will remain as a consultant, working on marketing and production.

The push to buy up Bordeaux estates began in 2010, and around 100 of the region's vineyards are now Chinese-owned. Ma apparently has plans to team up with another owner, Zhao Wei, to centralize their Bordeaux assets, and may move on to buy estates around the world.

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