is a commune located around the town of the same name. It is on
the right bank of the Dordogne River in the Bordeaux
region of France.
The appellation is 5,400 hectares in size. Within that area there
are more than 1200 chateaux.
can be logically assigned to four main categories based on the type
of soil. Closest to the town of Saint Emilion is an area of deep
limestone on fairly steep slopes. This area is the stereotypical
Saint Emilion area. It covers about 2,400 hectares and has 11 of
the 13 highest rated Chateaux. It is in this sector that Merlot
grows and performs best.
in size at almost 2,000 hectares is a large flat along the Dordogne
River. It is made of alluvial sand. Alluvial sand is sand that has
been deposited by water. In this case the Dordogne River is the
water and it has been bringing sand to the area over thousands of
plateau to the west of the town of Saint Emilion is about 1,200
hectares in size. It is the the 3rd largest area within the commune.
The soil here is mostly aeolian sand (very fine sand brought by
there is a 60 hectare area on the far west side of the commune of
Saint Emilion (just bordering on Pomerol)
that is made of gravel. This is where the other two of the highest
rated chateaux of Saint Emilion (Chateau
Cheval Blanc and Chateau
Figeac) are located. The gravelly soil makes a good home
for the Cabernet
Franc and Cabernet
Sauvignon grape varieties.