Bordeaux enjoys the distinction of being the largest AOC vineyard of France, and this can be attributed to its great diversity of high-quality terroirs. The broad range of wines that it produces will satisfy every wine lover for every occasion, while offering a wide price range. Geographic factors and the styles of wine produced are what define the 'six families' of Bordeaux wines.
The principle of crus classés (classified growths) serves to succinctly illustrate the typical characteristics of an exceptional terroir and winemakers’ savoir-faire.
THE FIVE BORDEAUX WINE CLASSIFICATIONS
Bordeaux introduced the concept of classification in 1855 under Napoleon III, and it now serves as an expression of quality and prestige worldwide. The principle of the crus classés (“classified growths”) perfectly illustrates the synthesis of a terroir’s typical characteristics and dedicated human intervention over many generations to ensure quality.
It should be emphasized that a wine or appellation can still be outstanding even if it is not a part of these classifications! There are several classifications in Gironde, listed in order of seniority:
|The 1855 classification
|The Graves classification
|The Saint-Emilion classification
|The Crus Bourgeois du Medoc classification
|The Crus Artisans classification
ODE TO THE MANY FACETS OF BORDEAUX WINE - Variety of the grapevine, Vitis vinifera -
From one grapevine to another, differences exist in the shape of the leaves, in the grape clusters and colors, in the compositions and aromas. With the passing of the centuries, humans have honed and refined their understanding of grape varieties and adapted their work to the specific terroirs, preserving and perfecting the unique character of each variety.