Graves Vineyard - Bordeaux wines - Aquitaine
Graves vineyard, the original Bordeaux Vineyard
The Graves Vineyard is one of the 6 wine-making areas of the Bordeaux Vineyard.
It stretches on a 50km strip located on the south bank of the Garonne, between Léognan and Langon.
The Romans planted the first vineyard on the southern outskirts of Burdigala (Bordeaux) in the 1st century AD.
The Graves Vineyard is therefore the original vineyard of the Bordelais region!
The vines benefit from an oceanic-temperate climate.
The proximity of the Atlantic Ocean indeed generates a mild climate, while the Landes pine forest shields the region against the sea winds.
The vines extract their nutrients from the gravels and limestone, a terroir quite similar to the Medoc's.
The 3000ha Graves Vineyard is the only French vineyard to be named after its terroir as graves means gravels.
Graves and Médoc are very similar wines; experts sometimes have trouble differentiating them!
Graves Vineyard - 8 AOC-AOP
However, their difference comes from the grapes used.
The Graves Vineyard includes 8 AOC-AOP:
Bordeaux, Bordeaux Supérieur, Cérons, Côtes de Bordeaux, Graves, Graves Supérieurs, Pessac-Léognan, and 1 IGP: Atlantique.
Graves rouges are produced from Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.
These wines with a dense and refined bouquet have aromas of red fruits, blackcurrant and cinnamon.
They obtain their deep ruby colour from the Cabernet-Sauvignon.
A higher percentage of early maturing Merlot and Cabernet-Franc add softness and roundness to these wines when young.
Medium to full-bodied, the red Graves can keep from 6 to 20 years!
Graves blancs represent two thirds of production; they are produced from Sauvignon, Sémillon and Muscadelle.
Graves Supérieurs are exclusively sweet whites; they have a powerful bouquet, deep golden colour and perfect balance sugar-acidity.
Graves blancs dry age in barrels and have a delicate light colour, fruity and floral aromas.
These elegant, crisp and fresh wines are considered to be the finest white Bordeaux.
Photo via Wikimedia Commons: map CC BY-SA 4.0
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