Bordeaux wine regions
The wine regions of Bordeaux are a large number of wine growing areas, differing in size and sometimes overlapping, which lie within the overarching wine region of Bordeaux, centred on the city of Bordeaux and covering the whole area of the Gironde department of Aquitaine. The Bordeaux region is divided by the Gironde Estuary into a Left Bank area which includes the Médoc and Graves and a Right Bank area which includes the Libournais and Blaye; the Médoc is itself divided into Bas-Médoc. There are various sub-regions within the Haut-Médoc, including St-Estèphe, Pauillac, St.-Julien and Margaux and the less well known areas of AOC Moulis and Listrac. Graves includes the sub-regions of Pessac-Léognan and Sauternes, Sauternes in turn includes the sub-region of Barsac; the Libournais includes the sub-regions of Pomerol. There is an additional wine region of Entre-Deux-Mers, so called because it lies between the Garonne and Dordogne rivers, which combine to form the Gironde; this region contains several less well known sweet wine areas of St. Croix de Mont..
All of these regions have their own appellation and are governed by Appellation d'origine contrôlée laws which dictate the permissible grape varieties, alcohol level, methods of pruning and picking, density of planting and appropriate yields as well as various winemaking techniques. Bordeaux wine labels will include the region on the front if all the grapes have been harvested in a specific region and the wine otherwise complies with the AOC requirements. There are about 50 AOCs applicable to the Bordeaux region. Both red and white Bordeaux wines are invariably blended; the permissible grape varieties in red Bordeaux are: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. While wine making styles vary, a rule of thumb is that the Left Bank is predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon based with the Right Bank being more Merlot based; the Graves area produces both red wine and white wine from the Sauvignon blanc, Sémillon and Muscadelle grapes. The area of Sauternes is known for its botrytized dessert wines.
There are a number of classifications of Bordeaux wines. None of these attempts to be a comprehensive classification of all the producers within a given area: rather, only the producers perceived as being of an unusually high standard are included in the classification; the châteaux included in the classification are referred to as classed or classé, those not included are referred to as unclassed. Some classifications sub-divide the classed châteaux, according to the perceived quality. On the Left Bank, the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855 is the starting point for classification. Although this purports to be a classification of all Bordeaux wine, it in fact lists red wine producers from the Haut-Médoc plus Château Haut-Brion of Graves, sweet white wine producers from Sauternes. Estates in the Médoc which were not classified in that listing may be classified under the Cru Bourgeois label. In 1953, a Classification of Graves wine was produced. Although this purports to classify the whole of Graves, it lists châteaux in Pessac-Léognan.
In 1954, a separate classification of Saint-Émilion wine was set up for this Right Bank region. There are eight AOCs. Any producer within the region is entitled to use these appellations, whether or not they are entitled to use a more specific regional appellation; these appellations are: Bordeaux, Bordeaux Supérieur, Bordeaux Sec, Bordeaux Moelleux, Bordeaux Clairet, Crémant-de-Bordeaux, Bordeaux Rosé and Vin de Pays de l'Atlantique. Where these appellations are used for wines which would otherwise be entitled to use a more specific appellation, they are used for wines of lower quality made by a négociant or co-operative. Many of Bordeaux's supermarket brands like Mouton Cadet, Dourthe Numero 1 and Sichel Sirius utilise these generic Bordeaux AOCs. More than half of Bordeaux's production uses these generic appellations. Red wine produced under the Bordeaux AOC is made from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, with the addition of Cabernet Franc and small amounts of Petit Verdot and Carmenère; this appellation covers around 42,600 hectares of vines and produces around 223 million litres of wine.
White wine produced under the Bordeaux Sec AOC is made from Sauvignon blanc and Sémillon, with the addition of some Muscadelle, Mauzac, Merlot blanc and Ugni blanc. It must contain no more than 4g/l of residual sugar; this appellation covers around 38 million litres of wine. If it has more than 4g/l of residual sugar it may be labelled as Bordeaux Molleux AOC, but little wine is in fact produced under this AOC. Bordeaux Supérieur AOC covers both red and white wines, the grapes used are the same, but permitted yields are lower, minimum alcohol content is higher and longer aging is required; the amount of red wine produced under this appellation is much greater than the amount of white wine produced. Rosé wine produced under the Bordeaux Rosé AOC is made from Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc; as is usual for Rosé, the grape skins are brief
Andernos-les-Bains is a commune in the Gironde department in southwestern France. Andernos-les-Bains is a located on the northeast shore of Arcachon Bay. To its northwest is the town of Arès. Andernos-les-Bains consists of four other small communities: Taussat, Cassy and Audenge. All these villages are characterized by small fisheries. For many years, the oyster and fishing industry provided the main income to the area. More tourism has become a strong economic factor in the area; the bay was well known for the Portuguese oyster which died out during 1970-1972 because of gill disease. But a new oyster was found, the "Pacific oyster". In 1974 the new oyster developed a disease caused by the paint used on fishing boats. An oil tanker spill in 1978 further damaged the oyster industry, which continued to suffer until 1981; the oyster industry suffered around the bay. This was a disaster for whole of France and Europe as the Arcachon oyster is a world-famous delicacy. Since 2000 the oyster industry has been recovering and now nearly 15,000 metric tons are produced per year.
Andernos-les-Bains has a 5.4 km long sand beach. The closest airport is Bordeaux-Mérignac. Sarah Bernhardt, a French actress, is known to have visited Andernos during the First World War; the Great Dune of Pyla - the longest in Europe Island of Birds - with two bird houses in the middle of the bay which act as landmarks Cape Ferret light house at the tip of the Arcachon Bay Andernos-les-Bains is twinned with: Largs, Scotland Communes of the Gironde department INSEE Andernos-les-Bains Official site Andernos-les-Bains Information
Anglade is a commune of the Gironde department in southwestern France. Communes of the Gironde department INSEE
The French Revolution was a period of far-reaching social and political upheaval in France and its colonies beginning in 1789. The Revolution overthrew the monarchy, established a republic, catalyzed violent periods of political turmoil, culminated in a dictatorship under Napoleon who brought many of its principles to areas he conquered in Western Europe and beyond. Inspired by liberal and radical ideas, the Revolution profoundly altered the course of modern history, triggering the global decline of absolute monarchies while replacing them with republics and liberal democracies. Through the Revolutionary Wars, it unleashed a wave of global conflicts that extended from the Caribbean to the Middle East. Historians regard the Revolution as one of the most important events in human history; the causes of the French Revolution are still debated among historians. Following the Seven Years' War and the American Revolution, the French government was in debt, it attempted to restore its financial status through unpopular taxation schemes, which were regressive.
Leading up to the Revolution, years of bad harvests worsened by deregulation of the grain industry and environmental problems inflamed popular resentment of the privileges enjoyed by the aristocracy and the Catholic clergy of the established church. Some historians hold something similar to what Thomas Jefferson proclaimed: that France had "been awakened by our Revolution." Demands for change were formulated in terms of Enlightenment ideals and contributed to the convocation of the Estates General in May 1789. During the first year of the Revolution, members of the Third Estate took control, the Bastille was attacked in July, the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen was passed in August, the Women's March on Versailles forced the royal court back to Paris in October. A central event of the first stage, in August 1789, was the abolition of feudalism and the old rules and privileges left over from the Ancien Régime; the next few years featured political struggles between various liberal assemblies and right-wing supporters of the monarchy intent on thwarting major reforms.
The Republic was proclaimed in September 1792 after the French victory at Valmy. In a momentous event that led to international condemnation, Louis XVI was executed in January 1793. External threats shaped the course of the Revolution; the Revolutionary Wars beginning in 1792 featured French victories that facilitated the conquest of the Italian Peninsula, the Low Countries and most territories west of the Rhine – achievements that had eluded previous French governments for centuries. Internally, popular agitation radicalised the Revolution culminating in the rise of Maximilien Robespierre and the Jacobins; the dictatorship imposed by the Committee of Public Safety during the Reign of Terror, from 1793 until 1794, established price controls on food and other items, abolished slavery in French colonies abroad, de-established the Catholic church and created a secular Republican calendar, religious leaders were expelled, the borders of the new republic were secured from its enemies. After the Thermidorian Reaction, an executive council known as the Directory assumed control of the French state in 1795.
They suspended elections, repudiated debts, persecuted the Catholic clergy, made significant military conquests abroad. Dogged by charges of corruption, the Directory collapsed in a coup led by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1799. Napoleon, who became the hero of the Revolution through his popular military campaigns, established the Consulate and the First Empire, setting the stage for a wider array of global conflicts in the Napoleonic Wars; the modern era has unfolded in the shadow of the French Revolution. All future revolutionary movements looked back to the Revolution as their predecessor, its central phrases and cultural symbols, such as La Marseillaise and Liberté, fraternité, égalité, ou la mort, became the clarion call for other major upheavals in modern history, including the Russian Revolution over a century later. The values and institutions of the Revolution dominate French politics to this day; the Revolution resulted in the suppression of the feudal system, emancipation of the individual, a greater division of landed property, abolition of the privileges of noble birth, nominal establishment of equality among men.
The French Revolution differed from other revolutions in being not only national, for it intended to benefit all humanity. Globally, the Revolution accelerated the rise of democracies, it became the focal point for the development of most modern political ideologies, leading to the spread of liberalism, radicalism and secularism, among many others. The Revolution witnessed the birth of total war by organising the resources of France and the lives of its citizens towards the objective of military conquest; some of its central documents, such as the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, continued to inspire movements for abolitionism and universal suffrage in the next century. Historians have pointed to many events and factors within the Ancien Régime that led to the Revolution. Rising social and economic inequality, new political ideas emerging from the Enlightenment, economic mismanagement, environmental factors leading to agricultural failure, unmanageable national debt, political mismanagement on the part of King Louis XVI have all been cited as laying the groundwork for the Revolution.
Over the course of the 18th century, there emerged what the philosopher Jürgen Habermas called the idea of the "public sphere" in France and elsewhere
A Bordeaux wine is any wine produced in the Bordeaux region of southwest France. Bordeaux is centered on the Garonne River. To the north of the city the Dordogne River joins the Garonne forming the broad estuary called the Gironde and covering the whole area of the Gironde department,with a total vineyard area of over 120,000 hectares, making it the largest wine growing area in France. Average vintages produce over 700 million bottles of Bordeaux wine, ranging from large quantities of everyday table wine, to some of the most expensive and prestigious wines in the world; the vast majority of wine produced in Bordeaux is red, with sweet white wines, dry whites, rosé and sparkling wines collectively making up the remainder. Bordeaux wine is made by châteaux. There are 54 appellations of Bordeaux wine; the wine was introduced to the Bordeaux region by the Romans in the mid-1st century, to provide wine for local consumption, wine production has been continuous in the region since then. In the 12th century, the popularity of Bordeaux wines in England increased following the marriage of Henry Plantagenet and Eleanor of Aquitaine.
The marriage made the province of Aquitaine part of the Angevin Empire, thenceforth the wine of Bordeaux was exported to England. At this time, Graves was the principal wine region of Bordeaux, the principal style was clairet; this accounts for the ubiquity of claret in England, though this is now used to refer to all red wine rather than the clairet style specifically. The export of Bordeaux was interrupted by the outbreak of the Hundred Years' War between France and England in 1337. By the end of the conflict in 1453 France had repossessed the province, thus taking control of wine production in the region; as part of the Auld Alliance, the French granted Scots merchants a privileged position in the trade of claret—a position that continued unchanged after the Treaty of Edinburgh ended the military alliance between France and Scotland. When the by Protestant kingdoms of England and Scotland, both ruled by the same Stuart king by this point, were trying to militarily aid the Huguenot rebels in their fight against Catholic France in La Rochelle, Scots trading vessels were not only permitted to enter the Gironde, but the French navy escorted them safely to the port of Bordeaux to protect them from Huguenot privateers.
In the seventeenth century, Dutch traders drained the swampy ground of the Médoc so it could be planted with vines, this surpassed Graves as the most prestigious region of Bordeaux. Malbec was the dominant grape here, until the early 19th century, when it was replaced by Cabernet Sauvignon. In 1855, the châteaux of Bordeaux were classified. From 1875 to 1892 all Bordeaux vineyards were ruined by phylloxera infestations; the region's wine industry was rescued by grafting native vines on to pest-resistant American rootstock. The major reason for the success of winemaking in the Bordeaux region is an excellent environment for growing vines; the geological foundation of the region is limestone, leading to a soil structure, heavy in calcium. The Gironde estuary dominates the regions along with its tributaries, the Garonne and the Dordogne rivers, together irrigate the land and provide an Atlantic Climate known as an oceanic climate, for the region. Bordeaux lies at the center of the confluence of the Dordogne and Garonne Rivers, which flow into the Gironde.
These rivers define the main geographical subdivisions of the region: "The right bank", situated on the right bank of Dordogne, in the northern parts of the region, around the city of Libourne. Entre-Deux-Mers, French for "between two seas", the area between the rivers Dordogne and Garonne, both of which are tidal, in the centre of the region. "The left bank", situated on the left bank of Garonne, in the west and south of the region, around the city of Bordeaux itself. The left bank is further subdivided into: Graves, the area upstream of the city Bordeaux. Médoc, the area downstream of the city Bordeaux, situated on a peninsula between Gironde and the Atlantic at the Left Bank of the Gironde. In Bordeaux the concept of terroir plays a pivotal role in wine production with the top estates aiming to make terroir driven wines that reflect the place they are from from grapes collected from a single vineyard; the soil of Bordeaux is composed of gravel, sandy stone, clay. The region's best vineyards are located on the well-drained gravel soils that are found near the Gironde river.
An old adage in Bordeaux is the best estates. The majority of land facing riverward is occupied by classified estates. Red Bordeaux is made from a blend of grapes. Permitted grapes are Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Carménère. Today Carménère is used, with Château Clerc Milon, a fifth growth Bordeaux, being one of the few to still retain Carménère vines; as a broad generalisation, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates the blend in red wines produced in the Médoc and the rest of the left bank of the Gironde estuary. Typical top-quality Châteaux blends are 15 % Cabernet Franc and 15 % Merlot; this is referred to as the "Bordeaux Blend". Merlot tends to predominate in Saint-Émilion and the other right bank appellations; these Right Bank blends from top-quality Châteaux are 70% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon. White Bordeaux is predominantly, in the case of the sweet Sauternes, made f
Aillas is a commune of the Gironde department in southwestern France. Communes of the Gironde department INSEE
Appellation d'origine contrôlée
The appellation d'origine contrôlée is the French certification granted to certain French geographical indications for wines, cheeses and other agricultural products, all under the auspices of the government bureau Institut national des appellations d'origine, now called Institut national de l'origine et de la qualité. It is based on the concept of terroir; the origins of AOC date to the year 1411. The first French law on viticultural designations of origin dates to August 1, 1905, whereas the first modern law was set on May 6, 1919, when the Law for the Protection of the Place of Origin was passed, specifying the region and commune in which a given product must be manufactured, has been revised on many occasions since then. On July 30, 1935, the Comité National des appellations d'origine, with representatives of the government and the major winegrowers, was created to manage the administration of the process for wines at the initiative of deputy Joseph Capus. In the Rhône wine region Baron Pierre Le Roy Boiseaumarié, a trained lawyer and winegrower from Châteauneuf-du-Pape obtained legal recognition of the "Côtes du Rhône" appellation of origin in 1936.
After World War II the committee became the public-private Institut National des Appellations d'Origine. The AOC seal was mandated by French laws in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. On July 2, 1990, the scope of work of the INAO was extended beyond wines to cover other agricultural products. AOCs vary in size; some cover vast expanses with a variety of climatic and soil characteristics, while others are small and uniform. For example, the Côtes du Rhône AOC "covers some 400 square kilometres, but within its area lies one of the smallest AOCs, Château-Grillet, which occupies less than 4 hectares of land." The INAO guarantees that all AOC products will hold to a rigorous set of defined standards. The organization stresses that AOC products will be produced in a consistent and traditional manner with ingredients from classified producers in designated geographical areas; the products must further be aged at least in the respective designated area. Under French law, it is illegal to manufacture and sell a product under one of the AOC-controlled geographical indications if it does not comply with the criteria of the AOC.
AOC products can be identified by a seal, printed on the label in wines, with cheeses, on the rind. To prevent any possible misrepresentation, no part of an AOC name may be used on a label of a product not qualifying for that AOC; this strict label policy can lead to confusion in cases where towns share names with appellations. If the town of origin of a product contains a controlled appellation in its name, the producer is enjoined from listing anything more than a cryptic postal code. For example, there are a dozen townships in l'Aude that have Cabardès in their names, several of which are not within the geographical boundaries of the Cabardès AOC. Any vineyard that produces wine in one of those towns must not mention the name of the town of origin on the product labels. There are over 300 French wines entitled to the designation AOC on their label. Legislation concerning the way vineyards are identified makes recognizing the various AOCs challenging for wine drinkers not accustomed to the system.
Distinguishing classifications requires knowledge of esoteric label laws such as "Unless the wine is from a Premier Cru vineyard, the vineyard name must be printed in characters no more than half the height of the ones used for the village name"On the other hand, while the process of label approval is enforced to the millimetre, the quality control for the wine in the bottle is much less strict. While a blind taster must approve the wine for it to receive AOC classification, this tasting occurs before the product is bottled, by a local expert who may well have ties to the local vintners. If the taster is objective, the wine sample may not be representative of the actual product, there is no way to verify that the finished bottled product is the same as the original AOC sample. In 1925, Roquefort became the first cheese to be awarded an AOC label, since over 40 cheeses have been assigned AOC status. On August 15, 1957, the National Assembly gave AOC status to the poultry of Bresse. In 2006, it awarded AOC status to salt marsh lamb raised in the Bay of the Somme.
In 1981, the AOC label was given to Haute-Provence Lavender Essential Oil. It refers to a high-quality production and concerns only the essential oil of fine lavender - Lavandula angustifolia; the fields must be located within a specific territory at a minimum altitude of 800 meters. This geographic area covers 284 communities in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Hautes-Alpes, Drôme and Vaucluse regions. Lentils from Le Puy-en-Velay have AOC status. Honey from the island of Corsica has been given AOC status. There are six certified varietals of Corsican honey: Printemps, Maquis de printemps, Miellats du maquis, Châtaigneraie, Maquis d'été, Maquis d'automne. France recognizes the Charente, Charente-Maritime, Deux-Sèvres and Vendée AOC regions for butter; the Beurre Charentes-Poitou has been assigned AOC status in 1979. Armagnac, Calvados and Martinique Rhum Agricole all have AOC status. Many other countries have based their controlled place name systems on th