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The Bordeaux region in southwestern France has been famed in the wine trade for centuries. Bordeaux produces more classified wine than any other region in France. The quality of this wine ranges from some of the best in the world to some that is less than perfect. Bordeaux is most noted for the red wines of exceptional quality that it produces.


Map of France locating Bordeaux

The Bordeaux region stradles the Gironde Estuary that is formed when the Garonne and Dordogne rivers converge. It has a rich history and was especially important in the wars between France and England. Bordeaux is also the name of the major city within the region.

Based on the centuries of grape growing and winemaking history in the region, the local regulations allow only six grape varieties to be used in the production of red wine. (You can actually grow whatever you want, but only the 6 authorized red grapes can be used in red wines labeled 'Bordeaux'). Of these grapes, only 5 are really in use today. They are:

The sixth grape, Carmenere, is nearly impossible to find in the region today.
For white wines, there are only three grape varieties allowed:
The major areas of the Bordeaux region are:
Many of the chateaux of Bordeaux have been rated as to the quality of their wines. The best known was the Classification of the Medoc of 1855.