A spokesperson for Château de Sours confirmed that one of the estate’s next-door neighbours had referred a dispute over alleged damage to a wall on his property to a tribunal court in Libourne. The dispute was reported in local newspaper Le Résistant.
Château de Sours has denied wrongdoing and did not wish to comment on the case in detail, but estate spokesperson Maïté Jeanroy said talks have begun with the neighbour and it is hoped an amicable solution can be found. ‘We are on the right track,’ she told Decanter.com.
It is around three years since Alibaba founder Jack Ma bought Château de Sours in St-Quentin-de-Baron in Bordeaux’s Entre Deux Mers area. Ma, who is based in China, has a fortune worth US$38.5bn, according to Forbes.
Since Sours changed hands, there has since been speculation about the extent of large-scale renovations at the 80-hectare property.
Jeanroy, who recently joined the estate as head of marketing and communication, said that the property had been made aware of concerns among neighbours and that it was considering organising a meeting with those living nearby to explain its plans more fully.
She said that the estate had previously held meetings with community members and that all work on its property complied with regulations and respected the environment.
What work is being done at Sours?
There is a major investment programme envisaged, but Jeanroy said that a reported spend of €40m ‘does not reflect any reality’.
Work on new cellars and winemaking facilities at the estate is set to begin this year, although designs were still being finalised, she said.
Renovation work on the Château itself, as well as on residential buildings and estate grounds, has already begun.
The work will create around 20 jobs, in addition to several roles created in the past year, said Jeanroy.
‘We think that this region of Bordeaux has not yet expressed its full potential,’ she said, adding that the estate was looking to improve the area’s quality image over a 15-year time-frame.