Bordeaux, located along the Atlantic coastline in the southwest of France, is one of the world’s most famous wine regions. The range of wines produced here is remarkable – everything from everyday table wines to some of the most expensive and prestigious wines ever produced. The “Bordeaux Style” has become a shorthand way to describe the process of elite wine production, including the handpicking of grapes at the most prestigious chateaux and the focus on making wines that reflect the natural terroir.
Overall, there are more than 10,000 wine producers or chateaux in Bordeaux located along an 80-mile stretch of land that runs inland from the Atlantic. This location gives Bordeaux an unsurpassed wine-growing environment. Two rivers – the Garonne and the Dordogne – and the Gironde estuary are geographic features that contribute to the unique terroir of Bordeaux.
This French wine region is known primarily for its full-bodied red “Bordeaux blends” that feature grape varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot. For example, in the Médoc sub-zone of Bordeaux, the preferred blend is 70% Cabernet, 15% Cabernet Franc and 15% Merlot. It is here in Médoc that you will find the most famous chateaux in the world: Chateau Lafite-Rothschild, Chateau Latour, Chateau Mouton-Rothschild, Chateau Margaux, and Chateau Haut-Brion.
In addition to the Bordeaux blends, the region is also famous for its sweet Sauternes wines from producers such as Chateau d’Yquem. Some white wines in the dry style are also produced, but it is the reds – which account for 90% of all wines produced by the region – that have transformed Bordeaux into a legend.
Winemaking in Bordeaux has been a tradition ever since the Romans introduced principles of wine production in the 1st century.
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Here is a brief audio guide on Bordeaux wine region. Check it out.