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Bordeaux

Listed under Wine Regions in South West, France.

  • Photo of Bordeaux
  • Photo of Bordeaux
Photo of Bordeaux
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Beautiful Saint Emilion is a historic Roman town perched on top of a hill surrounded by rows of grape vines and is the centre of the Bordeaux wine region. Saint Emilion reds (made from Merlot grapes) are known for their enticing depth of colour and flavour. The best Saint Emilion vineyards are on the slopes around the town and properties here are small, with almost a thousand crammed into a very small area of hillside, creating a tiered mosaic of vines. Some of the best producers in Saint Emilion are Cheval Blanc, Angelus, Grand Mayne, La Mondotte, Tertre-Roteboeuf and Valandraud.

The rest of Bordeaux spreads out below you from here, with enough grapes to produce more wine than the whole of Australia. Appellations like Saint Emilion, Medoc and Pomerol have given Bordeaux a reputation as being the worlds largest producer of fine wines, but this region actually produces a much larger variety of wine than many people think. As well as the famous reds, Bordeaux is also the home of Sauternes, the popular dessert wine and some dryer whites made with Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon grapes.

The Gironde river slices through Bordeaux and is a division in soil types as well as land. On the left bank near the estuary the Merlot for the Medoc Clarets is grown, then further south the Cabernet Sauvignon vines take over and you get into Pauillac country. On the right bank grow the fleshy Saint Emilion and Pomerol Merlots. There are also pockets of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc grapes grown further inland.

Some of Bordeaux’s most prestigious names are Margaux, Lafite and Petrus, but appointments need to be made with these wineries during busy periods if you want to visit them. There are around 9,000 producers in this region so to avoid being overwhelmed you need to plan time in each preferred sub region and see them almost as individual regions, grouped by location and the patchwork scenery of vines in all directions. This whole area has a wine theme with winery tours and chateau accommodation a speciality.

For a great selection of places to stay in the Bordeaux area, visit The Hotel Guru.

Written by  Kat Mackintosh.

Other expert and press reviews

“Bordeaux's latest British invasion”

By Andy Lynes for The Independent First published Sunday, 31 August 2008 Beautiful Saint Emilion is a historic Roman town perched on top of a hill surrounded by rows of grape vines and is the centre of the Bordeaux wine region. Saint Emilion reds (made… Read more...

Written by press. See the full article in The Independent, 31 August 2008

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

Chateau Palmer

I once fell in love with a cook. Not any old cook, but the resident cook of Chateau Palmer in the Margaux region of Bordeaux. The chateau itself was pretty magnificent - vines trailed practically up to the backdoor. She taught me to cook magret de canard over dried vine wood, with creamy potatoes dauphinoise and crisp green beans. She also had to decant the wine when the owner, M. Sichel, was entertaining merchants from the city of Bordeaux or America. In the decanters would go, from the kitchen to the grand dining room - Chateau Palmer 1960 (and I'm not that old!), 1962, 1970. And an hour and a half later, back they would come - half empty. Or rather half full. I have never spent so much time in a kitchen. I drank alot of good wine with that girl.

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