Bordeaux is the largest wine making region in France, both in terms of volume and quality. It is most famous for it’s prestigious Chateaux and expensive age worthy wines. Many overlook this region’s more affordable finds. It has a moderate maritime climate that benefits from its proximity to large bodies of water to help ripen grapes. The region is very wet, therefore rot and under-ripening can be a problem in some years. Seeing as Bordeaux is home to a variety of white and red grapes, the winemaker is able to more easily obtain a balanced wine by blending- even in the face of a challenging vintage. Each grape varietal is suited to a particular soil and adds something unique to a Bordeaux blend.
The Gironde estuary runs through the region and divides Bordeaux into what wine people refer to as “left and right bank wines”. The left bank wines come from the regions of Medoc, Haut Medoc, Pessac Leognan and Graves. Here the soils are predominantly gravel and the main grape is Cabernet Sauvignon. Right bank wines come from Saint-Emilion and Pomerol, the soil is mainly clay with some limestone and Merlot is the dominant grape.