With almost 120,000 hectares of vines, around 60 sub-appellations and a production equivalent to almost a billion bottles, Bordeaux is the most important top wine area in the world.
The growing area coincides exactly with the boundaries of the département of the Gironde. Over 50% of it yields Bordeaux (reds and whites) and Bordeaux Supérieur (red wine with stricter specifications). Rosé, Clairet and Crémant de Bordeaux (sparkling wine) can also be produced here. The Entre-Deux-Mers area between the Garonne and Dordogne rivers produces fruity white wines. The hillside vineyards are grouped into what are known as "Côtes" (Blaye, Bourg, Castillon, Côtes de Bordeaux).
The soils are very diverse. Mixtures of gravel and sand dominate near the river, while the slopes consist of molasse and/or limestone covered by loam soils – some richer than others.
Reds: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, rarely Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot und Malbec.Whites: Sauvignon blanc, Sémillon, rarely Muscadelle.
Bordeaux comes in every possible variant, from quaffable rosé or red to fruity white or sparkling wine, and strong red wine for longer cellar storage. All Bordeaux wines tend towards balance and lightness. More ambitious red wines are produced in the Côtes. The most powerful wines come from Bourg and Blaye, the smoothest from Castillon, and the most elegant from the Côtes de Bordeaux.
Best age for drinking
1-4 years (basic reds and whites)6-10 years (great reds for laying down).