Bordeaux

Bordeaux

A Bordeaux [bawr-doh] wine is any wine produced in the Bordeaux region of south eastern, France. Average vintages produce over 700 million bottles of Bordeaux wine, ranging from large quantities of everyday table wine, to some of the most expensive and prestigious wines in the world. 89% of wine produced in Bordeaux is red (called ‘claret’ in Britain), with notable sweet white wines such as Chateau d’Yquem, dry whites, rosé and sparkling wines (Crémant de Bordeaux) all making up the remainder.

The major reason for the success of winemaking in the Bordeaux region is the excellent environment for growing vines. The geological foundation of the region is limestone, leading to a soil structure that is heavy in calcium. The Gironde estuary dominates the regions along with its tributaries, the Garonne and the Dordogne rivers, and together irrigate the land and provide an Atlantic Climate, also known as an oceanic climate, for the region.

The region is itself divided into the ‘right bank,” situated on the right bank of Dordogne, in the northern parts of the region, around the city of Libourne; entre-deux-mers, French for ‘between two waters,’ the area between the rivers Dordogne and Garonne, in the center of the region; and the ‘left bank,’ situated on the left bank of Garonne, in the west and south of the region, around the city of Bordeaux itself.

In Bordeaux the concept of ‘terroir’ plays a pivotal role in wine production with the top estates aiming to make terroir driven wines that reflect the place they are from, often from grapes collected from a single vineyard. The region’s best vineyards are located on the well drained gravel soils that are frequently found near the Gironde river. An old adage in Bordeaux is the best estates can ‘see the river’ from their vineyard and majority of land that face riverside are occupied by classified estates (those that are officially classified as Bordeaux).

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