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BORDEAUX WINE

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The wine regions of Bordeaux are a large number of wine growing areas, differing widely in size and sometimes overlapping, which lie within the overarching wine region of Bordeaux, centred on the city of Bordeaux and covering the whole area of the Gironde department of Aquitaine.

The Bordeaux region is naturally divided into a Left Bank area which includes the Médoc and Graves, and a Right Bank area which includes the Libournais, Bourg and Blaye. The Médoc is itself divided into Haut-Médoc (the upstream or southern portion) and Bas-Médoc (the downstream or northern portion, often referred to simply as "Médoc").

All of these regions (except the Libournais) have their own appellation and are governed by Appellation d'origine contrôlée laws which dictate the permissible grape varieties, alcohol level, methods of pruning and picking, density of planting and appropriate yields as well as various winemaking techniques. Bordeaux wine labels will usually include the region on the front if all the grapes have been harvested in a specific region and the wine otherwise complies with the AOC requirements. There are about 50 AOCs applicable to the Bordeaux region.

Both red and white Bordeaux wines are almost invariably blended. The permissible grape varieties in red Bordeaux are: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. While wine making styles vary, a rule of thumb is that the Left Bank is predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon based with the Right Bank being more Merlot based.

LEFT BANK
The region spans the left bank of the Gironde from the mouth of the river to the city of Bordeaux and includes the four famous communes of St-Estephe, Pauillac, St. Julien and Margaux. It is about 60 km north to south, and about 10 km wide, with around 10,600 hectares under vines and a production of about 50 million litres per year. All the wine made here is red.

The Médoc appellations include:

  • Médoc AOC

  • Haut-Médoc AOC

    • Saint-Estèphe AOC

    • Pauillac AOC

    • Saint-Julien AOC

    • Listrac-Médoc AOC

    • Moulis-en-Médoc AOC

    • Margaux AOC

The Graves appellations include:

  • Graves AOC / Graves Supérieures AOC

  • Pessac-Léognan AOC

  • Sauternes AOC
    • Barsac AOC

 

RIGHT BANK

The area of Libournais encompasses much of what is referred to as the Right Bank. Named for its historical capital, Libourne, this area sits on the right bank of the Dordogne river and expands west past the convergence of the Isle River. Further west, after the Garonne and Dordogne rivers meet, the region of Bourg and Blaye is found the right bank of the Garonne. The expression Right Bank typically refers to wines from the Pomerol and St-Emilion areas of Libournais.  The vineyards of the Libournais are crossed by two rivers, Isle and Barbanne.

The Libournais appellations include:

  • Saint-Émilion AOC

  • Saint-Émilion Grand Cru AOC

  • Montagne-Saint-Émilion AOC
  • Saint-Georges-Saint-Émilion AOC

  • Lussac-Saint-Émilion AOC

  • Puisseguin-Saint-Émilion AOC

  • Pomerol AOC

  • Lalande-de-Pomerol AOC

  • Fronsac AOC

  • Canon-Fronsac AOC

  • Castillon - Côtes-de-Bordeaux AOC

  • Francs - Côtes-de-Bordeaux AOC

 

Check out the links below for more information on Bordeaux Wines! 

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