Probably THE most famous wine region in the world! The very name conjures up images of grand Chateaux, prestigious red wines with price tags to match, and…luxury. But dig behind the scenes and discover passionate winemakers making quality wines which offer everyday enjoyment and value. The city of Bordeaux has grand buildings, gastronomic restaurants, wine bars and wine shops like vinous Aladdin’s Caves.
Bordeaux has several distinct sub-regions, each with their own styles of wine. The Gironde estuary comes down from the Atlantic Ocean and spawns 2 rivers, the Garonne and Dordogne. To the west of these, the ‘Left Bank’, and north of the city is the Medoc and Haut-Medoc with their world-famous communes of Margaux, St. Julien, Pauillac and St. Estephe. To the south of the city is Graves, and also Sauternes and Barsac. Over to the ‘Right Bank’ lie St. Emilion, Pomerol and Fronsac. The Cotes of Blaye, Bourg and Castillon adjoin these. And finally the large area of Entre-Deux-Mers (between 2 Rivers) complete the picture.
The 5 main black grapes are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. Carmenere, which is better known in Chile, also makes the occasional appearance. Red wines are more often than not a blend of 2 or more of these grapes. Whites, both dry and luscious sweet wines, are made mainly from Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon, with Muscadelle and Sauvignon Vert playing second fiddle.
Bordeaux has a Maritime climate heavily influenced by its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, the Gironde Estuary and the Garonne and Dordogne Rivers. Summers are warm to hot, and winters mild and wet. The soils change markedly between the regions, which determines which grape varieties are grown where. The ‘Left Bank’ has gravelly free-draining soils which suits Cabernet Sauvignon, whilst the ‘Right Bank’ has heavier limestone and clay-based soils which favours Merlot.
Past Tours to Bordeaux
You can see why this is the world’s most famous red wine producing region. The gorgeous dry whites & the luscious sweet wines: Bordeaux has it all, as we discovered on this long weekend trip. We took a trip to a cooper to see how oak barrels are made. We went to some top chateaux in the Medoc, Sauternes, Graves, St. Emilion and Pomerol. We dined like royalty on delicious food, enjoying the beautiful city from our centrally located hotel. Beautiful Bordeaux, you stole our hearts.