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An Essential Guide to the Wines of Bordeaux

All you need to know about Bordeaux

  • Largest wine-producing region in France – 15% of national production, roughly 900 million bottles
  • 7375 wine-producing entities (chateaux) covering 120,000 ha
  • Mostly big estates: 70% of all vineyards bigger than 20 ha….

  • An Essential Guide to the WInes of Bordeaux

  • 70% of production sells between €3 and €15
  • 90% blended reds; 9% dry and sweet whites
  • Plantation of red grapes: Merlot 62%; Cabernet Sauvignon 25%; Cabernet Franc 12%
  • Plantation of white grapes: Semillon 54%; Sauvignon Blanc 36%; Muscadelle 7%

And if you want to know more…


‘Bordeaux’ is probably the most well-known name in the wine world. Given its size, long history and significant exports this is hardly surprising. Its enduring influence is also of course based on quality – but here is where the buyer should beware. By the law of averages, such a massive production contains wines ranging from the sublime to the (kind-of) ridiculous, with a whole lot of middling in between. Approach with finely-tuned taste buds and eyes closed to the label.

The Romans, as in so many other French wine regions, got the grape growing ball rolling, but it was the Brits who firmly established Bordeaux as a major player.

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