How did Bordeaux become the most important wine region in the world? With 120,000 hectares it is by far the largest single viticultural area in France, and when you consider the density of planting here that results in a lot of production. It has some of the highest and lowest yields in France as well, which means you can have some of the best quality and the lowest. Bordeaux was the first region I visited in Europe back in 2010, and it amazed me the size of the area and the extent to which vineyards are planted here. In spite of the quantity of wine they produce they seem to do a pretty good job of selling it, and the reason has less to do with quality and more to do with image. Bordeaux has developed one of the strongest connections with quality in wine second only to champagne. Through the classification system that designates quality of vineyards, to the glamour of the chateaus and then to the system of selling, all combine to make bordeaux wine one of the most immediately recognisable but also mysterious. My second day was spent at two estates on the left bank; Chateau Montrose and Chateau Pichon-Longueville.
|The soils of Saint-Estephe|