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Bordeaux Wine Region: Vineyards & Wineries

Melanie has been interested in cultures, languages, and travel since her youth. She also runs a YouTube channel: The Curious Coder.

Harvest time at chateau Franc Mayne near Saint-Émilion - Bordeaux, France

Harvest time at chateau Franc Mayne near Saint-Émilion - Bordeaux, France

When the Bordeaux is mentioned, most people automatically think of wine (and rightfully so.) Bordeaux wines have earned worldwide reputations for being a little extra special. I prefer Bordeaux wines over wines from other regions because of the flavor that is embodied in each bottle.

Wine from Bordeaux earns its prestige from its rich flavor and beautiful coloring. By French law, any wine called that hails a regional name (such as Bordeaux,) must actually be produced in the region.

Luckily, with over 10,000 producers using grapes from over 13,000 growers in the Bordeaux region alone, there is no shortage of Bordeaux wine.

Within the Bordeaux region, there are many winemakers that offer wine tasting tours. If you plan on visiting these sub-regions, you'll want to check ahead of time so you can visit wineries and vineyards that offer wine-tasting tours.

Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte

Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte

Médoc Wine Region

The Médoc wine region is located in the northern part of Bordeaux. Médoc, located in the département of Gironde, is known for its full, fruity, red Bordeaux wines. It is divided into two parts with Haut-Médoc in the south and the northern part which is simply referred to as Médoc.

Some of my favorite Bordeaux wines come from the Médoc region. These wines include Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Blanc, and Merlot. If you’ve ever been in the Médoc region, you would also know that this region is famous for its wonderful Roquefort cheese.

Château Le Bon Pasteur in Pomerol

Château Le Bon Pasteur in Pomerol

Saint-Émilion Wines

Saint-Émilion is the oldest wine region of Bordeaux as vineyards were being planted here as early as the second century. This area is home to beautiful architecture and beautiful rolling land.

While Saint-Émilion is the oldest wine region in Bordeaux, it wasn’t officially added to the Bordeaux wine classification until 1955. Saint-Émilion is famous for its beautiful convent cloister as well as its delicately flavored Reblochon cheese.

Tasting wines from Saint-Estèphe, Margaux, Saint-Julien, Pomerol, Moulis, and Saint-Émilion.

Tasting wines from Saint-Estèphe, Margaux, Saint-Julien, Pomerol, Moulis, and Saint-Émilion.

Wine barrels at Chais du Château l'Evangile

Wine barrels at Chais du Château l'Evangile

Pomerol Wines

Although Pomerol is the smallest wine region of Bordeaux, it's actually one of the most important. There aren’t many wine “big wigs” in the Pomerol region, but the wine from Pomerol is strong and full-bodied.

Wine-making in Pomerol is mainly a family business. While there are no formal rankings for wines here, the wine is no less worthy of its pricing and prestige.

Pomerol's wines are very high quality and thus sold at similar prices as other wines from Bordeaux. There are also many vineyards in the Pomerol area that offer winetasting which allows for an unforgettable experience.

The entrance to Château Cheval Blanc

The entrance to Château Cheval Blanc

Grapes growing on the vine

Grapes growing on the vine

Graves Wine

Graves is also one of the oldest wine-making areas of Bordeaux. The Graves name hails from the large amount of gravel in the soil composition.

The gravel causes the grapes here to ripen more quickly than the grapes in other regions of Bordeaux. Why? You may be surprised that it's not actually the mineral in the soil that does this -- it's that the sun! The gravel reflects sunlight onto the underside of the grapevine allowing sunlight to the whole plant.

The quick ripening of the grapes makes for some fantastic wine which can be experienced by simply buying a bottle or by going wine tasting at one of the several wineries in this area. Graves is also famous throughout Bordeaux because it produces all three of Bordeaux's most famous wines.

A lovely meal in Saint-Émilion

A lovely meal in Saint-Émilion

Sauternes Wine

Within the Graves region is the Sauternes sub-region which has to be mentioned. Sauternes is known for producing dry white wines and sweet white wines. This is a refreshing change from the massive amount of red wine produced in other areas of Bordeaux.

Sauternes wines are made from grapes with noble rot. Noble rot causes grapes to have a slight raisin effect which makes the wines of Sauternes very rich in flavor. Since there are many different soil types in Sauternes, each winery creates a distinct wine.

With the amazing popularity of wines from Bordeaux, it’s almost a sin to pass through Bordeaux without visiting a winery or at least picking up a bottle of wine at a shop.

For wine-lovers, a wine tour is almost required. Bordeaux is also famous for many gastronomic favorites such as Roquefort cheese, honey, and foie gras. The scenery of Bordeaux is unbeatable, too!

Beautiful winery in Bordeaux

Beautiful winery in Bordeaux

© 2009 Melanie Shebel

Comments

georgescifo from India on July 24, 2012:

looks simply superb...I have heard that the wineries in France are considered to be one of the best in the world..

Teresa Coppens from Ontario, Canada on July 20, 2012:

Fantastic and mouthwatering pictures. I'd love to tour the wineries of France. Another one for my bucket list.

Cynthia Calhoun from Western NC on July 19, 2012:

Mmmm, now you have me wanting some Bordeaux...and a trip to these regions of France! BEAUTIFUL layout. The pictures look so...delicious! Thanks for sharing!

Pacal Votan on August 31, 2009:

melbel - I hope I do, but their fine selection is some sort of a joke. But I'm lazy right now, so I'm not going to the other one that's much further away.

Will you not share your blog with us?

Melanie Shebel (author) from Midwest, USA on August 31, 2009:

I'm glad that this hub has returned your interest in wines from Bordeaux. Hope to hear you have found a wine at the mall that meets your tastes!

Pacal Votan on August 31, 2009:

I love wines from the left bank, and the Saint-Émilion area whenever I can afford it. You've got me going, I'm heading for the mall. lol

Nice hub, thanks.

Melanie Shebel (author) from Midwest, USA on July 17, 2009:

Goat cheese, now you've got my mouth watering. I know a lot of people who actually despise goat cheese. Personally I like something closer to chevrie and not feta, but when I say "goat cheese" people automatically assume I'm talking about feta. Feta is good on gyros, however!

Wendy Iturrizaga from France on June 12, 2009:

A Sauternes is absolutely heavenly with goat's cheese, the Valençay type... yummy!!

As for red wines, me too I prefer the Medoc ones.

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