Bordeaux has approximately over 7,000 chateaux, which produce
about a third of all the good quality wine in France and with around 13,000 growers lets
try and put this into some kind of perspective, this large area produces more wine than
the whole of Australia!
The wine region of Bordeaux is located in the South
West of France in the Aquitaine region and is an area that surrounds the city, of which
the wine takes its name. It goes along 3 different rivers, which are the Dordogne,
Garonne and the Gironde, but only on the outskirts of the city will you find the vineyards
and not in Bordeaux itself and all of the vineyards are in the Gironde department.
If you have ever been to this region whilst on holiday
in France, you will have noticed that the weather is not harsh, with short winters and
beautiful summers. Yet there is a high degree of humidity due to its location, which
is near to the Atlantic Ocean, so storms or frosts can be a worry for the vineyards in
Bordeaux. But the harvest usually takes place in September and October depending
upon the weather conditions and the type of grape.
Although there is very little hard data on the beginning of viticulture around the
Gironde, it does seem that the Romans cultivated the vine here just as readily as they did
There is a very wide variety of wine produced in this
region, from full bodied red wines, to dry white wines and sweet wines that go well with a
A red Bordeaux wine is an excellent choice if you are opting for a meal with beef, lamb,
grilled veal or game such as pheasant, whereas a dry white wine is the perfect
accompaniment to fish, seafood or chicken.
Although most people think of red wine and cheese, you can also get some marvellous white
wines that go very well with certain cheeses, but if thinking of brie or camembert, then
one of the Bordeaux red wines is perfect.
We mentioned that sweet wines are normally with dessert, but connoisseurs often prefer
these with foie gras.
Bordeaux is the largest wine-producing region in the world, as well as the most legendary,
with its reputation being built mainly through the red wines but also through sauternes.
Bordeaux produces many different wines from the famous dessert wine called Sauternes,
through to white wines and the most commonly known red wines like claret. The red
wines are produced from different grapes such as cabernet sauvignon, merlot and cabernet
franc, although there are small amounts of other grapes used. The white wines and
the sweet wines like sauternes are produced from sauvignon blanc and semillon grapes, yet
they can also contain some muscadelle grapes as well.
And of course, by touring the local vineyards and experiencing a few of the different
wines can make your trip to the Bordeaux region even more enjoyable whilst you are on
holiday in France!