Bordeaux is arguably the best region in the wine industry. Even though there are over 15,000 growers and over 700 million bottles of wine produced here each year, the real focus is on their tradition of wine making. The most important aspect here is the terroir! This is everything to them! If you don’t know what terroir means, it’s just not as easy as looking up the definition on Google. It means everything; the climate, the soil, the people, the tradition, but mainly the land.
Every vineyard has vines planted 3-4 feet apart at most, and only a foot off the ground – which is completely different than we do it, or what you see in the US. The close proximity to the ground allows them to obtain extra heat from the large rocky soil. A thing of beauty. Most places we visited today had an average age of 45-50 years in their vineyard, some of the oldest vines were 90 years old.
So far, each winery we have visited has a slightly different approach on wine making, but all pay tribute to their terroir. The combination of new barrels, old barrels, stainless steel, barrel fermentation, and custom patented concrete egg shaped vats brings different level of passion and dedication to the process.
The region is mainly known for red wine, and blends. Cabernet Sauvignon is the most commonly grown grape followed by Merlot, Cab Franc and Petite Verdot. All wines are blended with different levels of each varietal. However, it’s not as much about how much of each varietal is used, but where those varietals were grown.
We visited the appellation of Saint Julien within the Sub-Region of Haut-Medoc today and are looking forward to another great day tomorrow in the Saint Emilion appellation. Cheers from Bordeaux!