Bordeaux wine: the Olympus of wines

Bordeaux wine is one of the best known wines among wine lovers. World-famous wines, made in wineries that have become myths, that situate this French region at the centre of the wine scene. Bordeaux can be said to be the world capital of wine.


Bordeaux is located in the south-west of France, in the Gironde. The Garonne and Dordogne rivers, which cross the area and flow into the Gironde estuary, establish the main geographical subdivisions of the region.
Broadly speaking, we can distinguish between the area known as “The Right Bank”, located on the right bank of the Dordogne River. “Entre-deux-Mers”, “between two seas” in French, the area that lies in the centre of the region between the two rivers. And “The Left Bank”, located on the left bank of the Garonne River, to the south of the region. “The left bank” is divided into Graves and Médoc.

Bordeaux it is the second area in France in terms of volume of production, only surpassed by Languedoc-Roussillon. Its wine production even exceeds that of entire countries such as Germany or South Africa. And it is estimated that in total it hosts around 9,000 wineries, commonly known as châteaux. Almost twice as many wineries as in all of Spain!

If we talk about the grapes used to produce Bordeaux wine, we can say that the most widespread coupage in the Bordeaux region is Cabernet Sauvignon with Merlot. However, other red varieties are also grown, such as Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Carménère, and some white wines such as Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle.
The red wines are undoubtedly the kings of Bordeaux – wines that are famous worldwide, although it would be unfair to ignore the wines from Sauternes, some unique and very long-lived sweet white wines, such as Château d’Yquem, and some dry white wines from Graves such as Château Haut-Brion Blanc.
However, the quality of the wines produced in Bordeaux varies greatly. We find those ranging from table wines to some of the most expensive, exclusive and prestigious red wines in the world.

The most frequently-used system for rating the quality of plots and of Bordeaux wine has its origin in 1855 and was commissioned by Napoleon III on the occasion of the Universal Exhibition of Paris. According to this qualification there are five Premier Grand Cru, the highest distinction given to a vineyard: four in the Medoc: Château Lafite Rothschild, Château Margaux, Château Latour and Châtreau Mouton Rothschild; and one in Graves: Château Haut-Brion.

The soils are characterised by an important presence of limestone and gravel, sandstone and clay. The plots’ rating will depend on the proportions of these elements and the plots’ orientation. It is said that the best are those with gravel soils that are near the Gironde River.

The prevailing climate is oceanic, favoured by the proximity of the sea and the presence of the Gironde estuary with its tributaries the Garonne and Dordogne. It is a climate characterised by winds blowing inland off the ocean, fairly high humidity, abundant precipitation especially concentrated in winter, and significant temperature differences between day and night and between seasons that favour the ripening of the grapes and the plant’s rest and growth when necessary.

Bordeaux is a winegrowing area with a lot of history and although there are very different types of producers, they all have in common the fact that they start out enjoying privileged conditions for the production of quality wines. The Bordeaux wine concept corresponds to an idea of powerful, strong wines, with an excellent acidity. Wines designed to last over time. And to reign on the Olympus of wines.

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