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The Bordeaux appellation

Home > Our Châteaux > The Châteaux > The Bordeaux appellation

The Bordeaux appellation

A.O.C. Bordeaux carte

The Bordeaux A.O.C is the most widespread generic appellation in the Gironde department , including wines produced throughout the entire department on all types of soil legally entitled to produce wine (i.e. excluding wetlands and forested areas).

This area is so vast that it includes a great variety of soils. Winegrowers must cope with this wealth of possibilities by choosing the grape varieties best adapted to each terroir. This can either be totally given over to the A.O.C. Bordeaux or shared with another appellation.  A.O.C. Bordeaux is the largest fine wine appellation in the entire world, and the wines are the most-sold as well. Thirteen bottles of Bordeaux rouge or Bordeaux Supérieur  rouge are consumed every second somewhere on the planet…

The areas entitled to the Bordeaux appellation were defined in an official decree dated 14 November 1936.

Vignes Château Bonnet

They produce red, white and rosé wines.

The red wine vineyards cover nearly 38,500 hectares and account for over 50% of all wine produced in Bordeaux.

Bordeaux rosé is made from 4,750 hectares of vines.

Specifications for the A.O.C. Bordeaux:

  • The red and rosé wines must be made from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot (mainly) as well as Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Carménère (to a lesser extent). Cabernet Sauvignon contributes tannic structure while Merlot accounts for fruitiness and a velvety texture. Winegrowers vary the proportions in the final blend depending on the style they are aiming for.
  • Yields are 50-68 hl/ha for the red wines and between 55 and 72 hl/ha for the rosés.
  • Both red and rosé wines must have an alcoholic degree of 10 to 13°.
  • This means that the minimum sugar content is 189 g/litre of must (Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon for red wines) and 162 g /litre of must (these same grape varieties for rosé wines).

Characteristics of Bordeaux Rouge

Bordeaux rouge is smooth, fruity and not very powerful. Depending on the blend, the nose features enticing red fruit aromas such as raspberry, blackcurrant, as well as violet nuances.  These wines can be enjoyed young thanks to their fruitiness.
Ageing potential : 3 to 4 years. Serving suggestions : Bordeaux rouge goes well with all types of foods such as white meats, quiches, the cheese platter, etc.

Characteristics of Bordeaux Rosé

Bordeaux rosé is a light wine with an attractive roundness on the palate. It is meant to be drunk young and, in fact, is best enjoyed within one or two years after the vintage.  It is a real treat, especially in summer, with light dishes or spicy ones from North Africa or Asia.

vignes AOC Bordeaux