Bordeaux, Outside the Box: Meet the Young Winemaker Who’s Challenging the Region’s Status Quo

With a history in wine culture that dates back to the Roman times, modern Bordeaux is France’s largest winegrowing region and one of the world’s most important wine producers. The region, which takes its name from its central city, is classified into 36 districts, which are in turn divided into communes. According to the Conseil Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux, the area is home to some 6,000 estate owners and growers, making millions of cases of wine annually. Superstar châteaux such as Latour, Cheval Blanc, Margaux, Petrus, and Lafite Rotschild, among many others, make the reputation of the region.

Enter Tancrède Le Diascorn, the 23-year-old Bordelais who’s launching a label, Initiales, with the intent of finding a new way into one of the most established wine cultures in the world. Le Diascorn calls himself a négociant en vin (wine negotiator), and envisions his role similar to the one of a creative director, choosing juices, daring to blend them, and creatively reinterpreting wine presentation at the same time.

Tancrède Le DiascornPhoto: Courtesy of Jacques Heugas

Le Diascorn grew up between the vineyards and the center of the city, spending his weekends with his grandparents who had an estate in Sauternes. “I used to fool around between the rows of Yquem vines on a motocross bike when I was a kid. Much more hanging out with friends than being interested in wine and winemaking,” he recalls. But at the age of 19, Le Diascorn got into the wine universe through an internship at Rauzan-Ségla, an estate owned by Chanel.

One day at his internship, Le Diascorn took a bicycle that was normally used by the guests to get around the property and did a wheelie in the garden. He had bet with his coworkers that he could manage to get from one end of the property to the other, on a single wheel. The château’s communications manager witnessed the challenge and decided to take a photo for Rauzan-Ségla’s Instagram account. “I didn’t see it coming, I had this stereotypical idea in my head that everything we did had to fit the image of a château where nothing sticks out,” he says, but it ended up being a defining moment, one that helped solidify his intuition that he could propose something new without compromising the excellence and rigor necessary to make wine.

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