The Saint-Julien second growth's roots run deep.
Château Ducru-Beaucaillou, one of the leading wine estates in the Saint-Julien appellation, dates back to the early 13th Century, but the firm's reputation began to spread when the Bergeron family took control in 1720. In 1795, Bertrand Ducru – who would add his last name to the estate – purchased the property, and it was during his family's ownership that the château was named as a second growth of the Bordeaux classification of 1855.
Two more families controlled the estate before the current owners, the Borie family, purchased Ducru-Beaucaillou a little more than 60 years ago. Today, Bruno-Eugène Borie, the chairman of the board, manages this property along with Château Lalande-Borie in Saint-Julien, as well as Château Fourcas-Borie and Château Ducluzeau from Listrac-Medoc.
The typical grape blend for Ducru-Beaucaillou is 90 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 10 percent Merlot, with small variations depending on the vintage. "The decision to plant Merlot here and Cabernet Sauvignon there is an agronomic decision, and not an enological or marketing one," remarks Borie. "Generally speaking our 'beau cailloux' (beautiful stones) are ideal for Cabernet Sauvignon, so the major part of our holy land is planted with Cabernet Sauvignon." Indeed Cabernet Sauvignon comprises 70 percent of the plantings across the estate's 185 acres.
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