The Bordeaux region counts Burgundy arguably one of the best-known French wine-growing regions, both of which are fighting for the first place of the qualitatively "best wines". The city of the same name is the capital of the department Gironde with the mouth funnel of the same name in the southwest France and is described as one of the most beautiful wine towns in the world. The Greek historian Strabo (63 BC-AD 28) writes that when he visited “Burdigala” around 20 AD he had not found any viticulture. But this is from his colleague Pliny not attested to the elder (23-79) a few decades later. This means that the Romans founded viticulture here around 50 AD. The current area of Bordeaux belonged to 300 years England (1154-1453) and in this time the viticulture by the wine trade Significant upswing to England and Flanders.
This led to the establishment of numerous large trading houses, most of which still exist today, and the historically significant one Bordeaux wine trade, From the end of the 17th century, a wide-area vine plantation began, especially in Bordeaux Médoc, Because of these vineyard foundations, the term "Fureur de planter" (planting rage) was coined. This laid the basis for today's vineyards. Marquis Nicolas-Alexandre de was one of the largest winery owners ségur (1697-1755). In 1925, the professor of agriculture and deputy of the Gironde department continued Joseph Capus (1867-1947) decisive initiatives regarding the controlled system of origin (see Appellation d'Origine Protégée ) in France, which led to the establishment of the institute INAO (Institut National des Appellations d'Origine).
The equation "Bordeaux is French red wine" is appropriate because no other wine (besides Burgundy) is associated with France as it is. In most cases, they are called cuvées, wines blended from several grape varieties (see under Bordeaux blend ). Each château (winery) has its own recipe of grape mix and vinification, which is carefully guarded. In Bordeaux, barrel maturation in the small 225 liter barrels has been used for centuries and that Barrique brought to perfection. In 1855, on the occasion of the World Exhibition in Paris, the Bordeaux wines were broadly classified into quality classes. This famous Bordeaux Classification is valid almost unchanged.
The area extends over around two thirds of the Gironde department (only in the south and to the sea there are no vines) with an extension of 105 by 130 kilometers and a vineyard area of 113,000 hectares. The climate, which is characterized by the nearby Atlantic Ocean with the Gulf Stream and the many rivers, is extremely favorable for viticulture. Summer is not too dry or hot, autumn is sunny and winter is mild and humid. The mainly barren and stony gravel soil means that the vine roots have to dig up to ten meters deep to find water. As a result, both dry and rainy periods can be better survived. The stony ground favors drainage and also serves as a heat store.
The large area is from the south by the rivers Garonne and Dordogne traversed. These unite below the city of Bordeaux to form a large estuary Gironde, which divides the area in the north into two areas that are also the best known. These include the appeals Blaye - Côtes de Bordeaux, Côtes de Bourg, Fronsac, Pomerol and Saint-Émilion (also as Rive droite referred to) as well as on the left or west side Médoc, Graves and Sauternes (also as Rive gauche designated). The southern part of the Médoc (Haut-Médoc) in particular is known as the showpiece of the Bordelais.
There are also significant differences in the grape varieties. One often speaks of a typical one Bordeaux blend, but there are different types. The red wine varieties dominate on the left Cabernet Sauvignon, followed by Merlot and smaller proportions of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, The right side is the domain of Merlot, followed by the white varieties Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon, The two Cabernet varieties contribute the tannin, the Merlot produces softer wines. The three main red varieties account for 90% of the red varieties. For white wines, Sémillon is the most important variety with over 50%, followed by Sauvignon Blanc, Colombard. Muscadelle and Ugni Blanc ( Trebbiano Toscano ).
The importance of viticulture is impressive evidence that wine is produced in over 500 of the 542 municipalities. Basically, every winery, regardless of the size, the structural conditions or the quality of the wine pressed there, as Chateau Inscribed (castle) - in a few of them there are actually castle-like buildings. The widely ramified family empire of Lurton is the largest owner of wineries. AOP wines with 65 appellations are produced almost exclusively (98%), more than a quarter of France comes from here. This makes Bordeaux the world's largest area for quality wines, A large part is marketed under the regional names. This applies to all AOP wines from the Gironde department.
They can be a blend of approved grapes from across the region. These are Bordeaux (Rouge, Blanc), Bordeaux sec (white wine with residual sugar below 4 g / l), Bordeaux Rosé , Bordeaux Clairet (light red wine) and Crémant de Bordeaux (Sparkling). The most successful brand wines under the AC designation Bordeaux are the “Dourthe No. 1 ”from Dourthe-Kressmann, the "Sirius" from sickle, the "Michel Lynch" from Château Lynch-Bages, the "Maître d'Estournel" from Château Cos d'Estournel as well as the absolute leader in terms of sales volume and worldwide export hit Mouton Cadet from Mouton-Rothschild. There are over 30 municipal appellations from which you can usually expect outstanding qualities: