Dinner at Château Ducru-Beaucaillou

At the Bordeaux second growth, owner Bruno Borie is as at home in the kitchen as he is among the vines

Words by Club Oenologique Editors

Photography by Lisa Linder

Photographer Lisa Linder and stylist Frankie Unsworth have made several trips to Bordeaux’s Château Ducru-Beaucaillou over the last few years, tasked with shooting both the château itself, and the lifestyle and culinary passion of its bon viveur owner, Bruno Borie. And while the dinner captured here isn’t of a festive nature, it certainly helps whet the appetite for the indulgent feasts to come in the next couple of weeks.

“What struck me was the creativity of curiosity of Monsieur Borie,” says Linder. “I hope these images show something of the ambience behind the scenes at this beautiful château.”

We may not all have such a sumptuous setting to hand, but we all need goals…

Ducru Beaucaillou building landscape
The Bordeaux second growth is set in Saint-Julien, and takes its name from the French for "beautiful stone"

Estate owner Bruno Borie. "We were constantly amazed at Monsieur Borie's diverse field of interests," says Linder. "He has a very creative and philosophical approach to life"
The kitchen is a focal part of the château, and Borie is often found at the stove himself, cooking for business guests from the wine trade
As a wine, Ducru-Beaucaillou is known as the epitome of Saint-Julien – elegant yet powerful
Cellar master René Lusseau has been with the estate for 35 years
Bruno Borie's father Jean-Eugène ran the estate for 45 years before his death in 1998. The family, which is now large and extended, also owns fifth growth Château Grand-Puy Lacoste; it took five years for the portfolio to be split among all the members
"When I took over," says Borie, "I said to myself that we wanted to be among Bordeaux's top 10 châteaux. We had dropped to around number 15. I like to have targets"
Borie began running Ducru in 2003, and immediately made an impact with his adroit handling of the year's punishingly hot vintage. The estate has been on the rise ever since
"It's rare to find someone surrounded by such grandeur who manages to maintain a warm humility on a daily basis," says Linder. "The fact that he couples this charm with exceptional culinary skills gave us a rich vein of material to play with."
"His incredible wines are paired with some spectacular dishes that would give any Michelin star chef a run for their money," adds Linder
"I used to come into the kitchen when I was a kid; we had chefs, and I used to watch them do sous-vide," says Borie. "Now I love to cook whenever I can"