The “Beau Caillou – the alabaster stone series”, an extraordinary collaboration
As a collector of art and contemporary design, the proprietor-grower of Château Ducru-Beaucaillou, Bruno-Eugène Borie, called on Atelier Alain Ellouz to create an exclusive wine casing for an exceptional vintage, the Château Ducru-Beaucaillou 1982 double magnum.
“This unique creation embodies a binary craftsmanship that converges towards harmonious perfection. It starts with an uncompromising selection of material: alabaster, winegrower’s soil, grape variety, etc. Then, in the secrets of their respective workshops and cellars, skilled hands cultivate, shape and sculpt their work, refining it to strike that perfect balance. The result? A premium wine for Ducru-Beaucaillou and an exquisite stone crafted wine bottle casing for Atelier Alain Ellouz. In a way, this stone case illustrates the same manual intelligence and passion for excellence the two brands share“, confides Alain Ellouz.
Veritable works of art, the Beau Caillou alabaster stone series includes limited, numbered pieces which are sure to be sought after by design collectors and connoisseurs of great wines.
Alain Ellouz, Master stone craftsman and founder of AAE
Bruno-Eugène BORIE, Ducru-Beaucaillou, collector of art and contemporary design
A truly symbiotic collaboration
D-AD-A studio brought together Alain Ellouz and Bruno-Eugène Borie, two dynamic, entrepreneurial and perceptive storytellers, who have both been instrumental in promoting French savoir-faire around the world. A totally natural collaboration emerged from their shared passion for excellence, and taste for aesthetics.
“The Atelier Alain Ellouz casing designed for Ducru-Beaucaillou is a jewel-like sarcophagus, symbolizing the primary force of the earth. It is also a sensual manifestation of the labors of Château Ducru-Beaucaillou devoted to producing wines of pure elegance and perfect harmony. Our shared commitment to uncompromising, refined artisan craftsmanship is what bonded Alain Ellouz and I together for this project“, states Bruno-Eugène Borie.
An expression of the trajectory of alabaster and Gunz gravel. Sculpted by man since ancient Egyptian times, alabaster is now at the forefront of luxury decor thanks to Alain Ellouz, who knew how to master and reveal the hidden mysteries, just the way a wine reveals a great terroir. The local Gunz gravel deposited on the slopes of Saint-Julien during the quaternary period reveals the true expression of the Cabernet Sauvignon vine, Medoc’s majestic grape variety.
Two beau caillou, meaning ‘beautiful stone’, selected and revered by man for centuries.
The Beau Caillou alabaster stone: beyond a casing, a design statement
Amélie Faurens and Xavier Jacono at Studio D-AD-A initiated the project. They imagined a colossal jewel in the shape of a pebble designed to hold a generous double magnum. They wanted to create a dramatic contrast between material mass and minimalist design.
Alexis Jouvin, Designer and Technical Director at Atelier Alain Ellouz, headed the design and development of the casing. Our primary technical feats were to hollow the stone to lighten the weight of the casing, hold the double magnum in place inside, and create backlighting from an invisible light source. Two 15 mm-thick shells were extracted from the same alabaster block in order to obtain a perfect continuity of lines. Each shell then undergoes the Stonelight process to make them as hard as granite. The technical components include an autonomous battery and LED lights, which are inserted into the base, under the bottle, itself held in place by translucent pegs.
“This project gave me the opportunity to work on the design of a precious object. The casing explores the design limits of organic form and functionality. A protective casing for the wine, and ultimately a work of art transcended by light. Because the lighting is autonomous, it can be moved around, plus we added a dimmer switch“, Alexis JOUVIN
The Beau Caillou alabaster stone series includes limited, numbered pieces. They will be displayed as a statement of contemporary design by major dealers and great wine collectors on November 16th in London.
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Photos credits © Studio D-AD-A, Lisa Linder, Atelier Goodday