Merlot is a dark blue-colored wine grape variety, used as both a blending grape and for varietal wines. The name Merlot is thought to be a diminutive of merle, the French name for the blackbird a reference to the color of the grape, its softness and "fleshiness", combined with its earlier ripening, makes Merlot a popular grape for blending with the sterner, later-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon, which tends to be higher in tannin. Along with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, Merlot is one of the primary grapes used in Bordeaux wine, it is the most planted grape in the Bordeaux wine regions. Merlot is one of the most popular red wine varietals in many markets; this flexibility has helped to make it one of the world's most planted grape varieties. As of 2004, Merlot was estimated to be the third most grown variety at 260,000 hectares globally; the area planted to Merlot has continued to increase, with 266,000 hectares in 2015. While Merlot is made across the globe, there tend to be two main styles.
The "International style" favored by many New World wine regions tends to emphasize late harvesting to gain physiological ripeness and produce inky, purple colored wines that are full in body with high alcohol and lush, velvety tannins with intense and blackberry fruit. While this international style is practiced by many Bordeaux wine producers, the traditional "Bordeaux style" of Merlot involves harvesting Merlot earlier to maintain acidity and producing more medium-bodied wines with moderate alcohol levels that have fresh, red fruit flavors and leafy, vegetal notes; the earliest recorded mention of Merlot was in the notes of a local Bordeaux official who in 1784 labeled wine made from the grape in the Libournais region as one of the area's best. In 1824, the word Merlot itself appeared in an article on Médoc wine where it was described that the grape was named after the local black bird who liked eating the ripe grapes on the vine. Other descriptions of the grape from the 19th century called the variety lou seme doù flube with the grape thought to have originated on one of the islands found along the Garonne river.
By the 19th century it was being planted in the Médoc on the "Left Bank" of the Gironde. After a series of setbacks that includes a severe frost in 1956 and several vintages in the 1960s lost to rot, French authorities in Bordeaux banned new plantings of Merlot vines between 1970 and 1975, it was first recorded in Italy around Venice under the synonym Bordò in 1855. The grape was introduced to the Swiss, from Bordeaux, sometime in the 19th century and was recorded in the Swiss canton of Ticino between 1905 and 1910. In the 1990s, Merlot saw an upswing of popularity in the United States. Red wine consumption, in general, increased in the US following the airing of the 60 Minutes report on the French Paradox and the potential health benefits of wine and the chemical resveratrol; the popularity of Merlot stemmed in part from the relative ease in pronouncing the name of the wine as well as its softer, fruity profile that made it more approachable to some wine drinkers. In the late 1990s, researchers at University of California, Davis showed that Merlot is an offspring of Cabernet Franc and is a half-sibling of Carménère, Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon.
The identity of the second parent of Merlot wouldn't be discovered till the late 2000s when an obscure and unnamed variety, first sampled in 1996 from vines growing in an abandoned vineyard in Saint-Suliac in Brittany, was shown by DNA analysis to be the mother of Merlot. This grape discovered in front of houses as a decorative vine in the villages of Figers, Saint-Savinien and Tanzac in the Poitou-Charentes was colloquially known as Madeleina or Raisin de La Madeleine due to its propensity to be ripe and ready for harvest around the July 22nd feast day of Mary Magdalene; as the connection to Merlot became known, the grape was formally registered under the name Magdeleine Noire des Charentes. Through its relationship with Magdeleine Noire des Charentes Merlot is related to the Southwest France wine grape Abouriou, though the exact nature of that relationship is not yet known. Grape breeders have used Merlot crossed with other grapes to create several new varieties including Carmine, Evmolpia, Mamaia, Nigra and Rebo.
Over the years, Merlot has spawned a color mutation, used commercially, a pink-skinned variety known as Merlot gris. However, unlike the relationship between Grenache noir and Grenache blanc or Pinot noir and Pinot blanc, the variety known as Merlot blanc is not a color mutation but rather an offspring variety of Merlot crossing with Folle blanche. Merlot grapes are identified by their loose bunches of large berries; the color has less of a blue/black hue than Cabernet Sauvignon grapes and with a thinner skin and fewer tannins per unit volume. It ripens up to two weeks earlier than Cabernet Sauvignon. Compared to Cabernet, Merlot grapes tend to have a higher sugar content and lower malic acid. Ampelographer J. M. Boursiquot has noted that Merlot has seemed to inherit some of the best characteristics from its parent varieties—its fertility and easy ripening ability from Magdeleine Noire des Charentes and its color, t
Gironde is a department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of southwest France. It is named after a major waterway; the Bordeaux wine region is in the Gironde. Gironde is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790, it was created from parts of the former provinces of Gascony. From 1793 to 1795, the department's name was changed to Bec-d'Ambès to avoid the association with the revolutionary party, the Girondists. Gironde is part of the current region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine and is surrounded by the departments of Landes, Lot-et-Garonne and Charente-Maritime and the Atlantic Ocean on the west. With an area of 10,000 km², Gironde is the largest department in metropolitan France. If overseas departments are included, Gironde's land area is dwarfed by the 83,846 km² of French Guiana. Gironde is well known for the Côte d'Argent beach, Europe's longest, attracting many surfers to Lacanau each year, it is the birthplace of Jacques-Yves Cousteau who studied the sea and all forms of life in water.
The Great Dune of Pyla in Arcachon Bay near Bordeaux is the tallest sand dune in Europe. The President of the General Council is Jean-Luc Gleyze of the Socialist Party. Cantons of the Gironde department Communes of the Gironde department Arrondissements of the Gironde department Bordeaux wine regions General Council website Prefecture website Gironde at Curlie Tourism Office website
Arcachon is a commune in the southwestern French department of Gironde. It is a popular swimming destination on the Atlantic coast 55 kilometres southwest of Bordeaux, in the Landes forest, it has a sandy beach and a mild climate said to be favourable for invalids suffering from pulmonary complaints. Arcachon is twinned with:* Aveiro, Portugal In 1857, Emperor Napoleon III signed an imperial decree declaring that Arcachon was now an autonomous municipality, the railway line extension from Bordeaux to Arcachon had been completed that same year. At that time, Arcachon was scarcely more than a forest of pine trees and strawberry trees, with no road links and few real houses, with a population fewer than 400 people fishermen and peasants. In earlier years, when some hygienists began to recommend sea bathing, three sea establishments were laid out by investors to attract the Bordeaux bourgeoisie and other wealthy people; this was the beginning of a new lifestyle, some of the locals got the opportunity to claim their independence from La Teste-de-Buch, which owned their properties, in order to found a "free" new town, Arcachon.
Arcachon is known for the "Arcachonnaise", the local name for an Arcachon villa, the architectural style of many of the older houses built there. It is a Victorian style, criticized for generations, but is now considered to be charming; the United States Navy established a naval air station on 8 June 1918 to operate seaplanes during World War I. The base closed shortly after the First Armistice at Compiègne. At its southern entrance from the Atlantic Ocean, Arcachon Bay is crowned by Europe's largest sand dune, the Dune du Pilat, nearly 3 kilometres long, 500 metres wide, reaching 110 metres in height, moving inland at rate of 5 metres a year; the area is served by the TGV Atlantique. Humbert Balsan - Film producer, was born in Arcachon in 1954. Carmen Bernos de Gasztold - Poet, was born in Arcachon in 1919. Sylvie Caster Writer and journalist, was born in Arcachon in 1952. Alexandre Dumas - Writer, once lived in Arcachon's Ville d'Hiver. Ramón Emeterio Betances - Puerto Rican politician, spent close to six months at Arcachon shortly before his death in 1898.
Jean Périsson - composer, was born here in 1924 Louise Talma - Composer, was born here in 1906. Charles Tournemire - Composer-organist, died here in 1939. On the other side of the Bassin d'Arcachon is Cap Ferret, a popular resort for celebrities including Zinedine Zidane and Jean Pierre Pernaut, who have holiday homes. Dune du Pilat Communes of the Gironde department Château Deganne Our Lady of Arcachon INSEE This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Wood, James, ed.. "article name needed". The Nuttall Encyclopædia. London and New York: Frederick Warne. Official web site Dune du Pyla site Arcachon web site Aerial view of the Dune du Pilat Air photography of Arcachon Live Camera Arcachon
A vineyard is a plantation of grape-bearing vines, grown for winemaking, but raisins, table grapes and non-alcoholic grape juice. The science and study of vineyard production is known as viticulture. A vineyard is characterised by its terroir, a French term loosely translating as "a sense of place" that refers to the specific geographical and geological characteristics of grapevine plantations, which may be imparted in the wine; the earliest evidence of wine production dates from between 6000 and 5000 BC. Wine making technology improved with the ancient Greeks but it wasn't until the end of the Roman Empire that cultivation techniques as we know them were common throughout Europe. In medieval Europe the Church was a staunch supporter of wine, necessary for the celebration of the Mass. During the lengthy instability of the Middle Ages, the monasteries maintained and developed viticultural practices, having the resources, security and interest in improving the quality of their vines, they owned and tended the best vineyards in Europe and vinum theologium was considered superior to all others.
European vineyards were planted with a wide variety of the Vitis vinifera grape. However, in the late 19th century, the entire species was nearly destroyed by the plant louse phylloxera accidentally introduced to Europe from North America. Native American grapevines include varieties such as Vitis labrusca, resistant to the bug. Vitis vinifera varieties were saved by being grafted onto the rootstock of Native American varieties, although there is still no remedy for phylloxera, which remains a danger to any vineyard not planted with grafted rootstock; the quest for vineyard efficiency has produced a bewildering range of systems and techniques in recent years. Due to the much more fertile New World growing conditions, attention has focussed on managing the vine's more vigorous growth. Innovation in palissage and pruning and thinning methods have replaced more general, traditional concepts like "yield per unit area" in favor of "maximizing yield of desired quality". Many of these new techniques have since been adopted in place of traditional practice in the more progressive of the so-called "Old World" vineyards.
Other recent practices include spraying water on vines to protect them from sub-zero temperatures, new grafting techniques, soil slotting, mechanical harvesting. Such techniques have made possible the development of wine industries in New World countries such as Canada. Today there is increasing interest in developing organic, ecologically sensitive and sustainable vineyards. Biodynamics has become popular in viticulture; the use of drip irrigation in recent years has expanded vineyards into areas which were unplantable. For well over half a century, Cornell University, the University of California and California State University, among others, have been conducting scientific experiments to improve viticulture and educate practitioners; the research includes investigating pest control. The International Grape Genome Program is a multi-national effort to discover a genetic means to improving quality, increasing yield and providing a "natural" resistance to pests; the implementation of mechanical harvesting is stimulated by changes in labor laws, labor shortages, bureaucratic complications.
It can be expensive to hire labor for short periods of time, which does not square well with the need to reduce production costs and harvest often at night. However small vineyards, incompatible widths between rows of grape vines and steep terrain hinder the employment of machine harvesting more than the resistance of traditional views which reject such harvesting. Numbers of New World vineyard plantings have been increasing as fast as European vineyards are being uprooted. Between 1990 and 2003, the number of U. S. vineyards increased from 1,180 to 3,860 km2 or 292,000 to 954,000 acres, while Australian vineyard numbers more than doubled from 590 to 1,440 km2 and Chilean vineyards grew from 654 to 1,679 km2. The size of individual vineyards in the New World is significant. Europe's 1.6 million vineyards are an average of 0.2 km2 each, while the average Australian vineyard is 0.5 km2, providing considerable economies of scale. Exports to Europe from New World growers increased by 54% in the six years up to 2006.
There have been significant changes in the kinds of grapes that are grown. For example, in Chile, large areas of low-quality grapes have been replaced with such grapes as Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. In Argentina, due to an economic down-turn, acreage of Malbec was reduced in the 1980s, but in the 1990s, during the quality revolution incited by Malbec Pioneer Nicolás Catena Zapata, growers started planting more Malbec, most notably in higher altitudes where cooler temperatures and more intense sunlight yields more concentrated yet smoother and more complex malbecs. Grape changes are in response to changing consumer demand but sometimes result from vine pull schemes designed to promote vineyard change. Alternatively, the development of "T" budding now permits the grafting of a different grape variety onto existing rootstock in the vineyard, making it possible to switch varieties within a two-year period. Local legislation dictates which varieties are selected, how they are grown, whether vineyards can be irrigated and when grapes can be harvested, all of which in serves to rein
Les Artigues-de-Lussac is a commune in the Gironde department in southwestern France. It is around 10 km northeast of Libourne, around 35 km east-northeast of Bordeaux. Communes of the Gironde department INSEE
France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona
Ambarès-et-Lagrave is a commune in the Gironde department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of southwestern France. The inhabitants of the commune are known as Ambarésiens or Ambarésiennes Ambarès-et-Lagrave is part of the Bordeaux urban area located to the north of the Bordeaux conurbation between the Garonne and Dordogne; the A10 autoroute passes down the eastern side of the commune from north to south with Exit 42 → Ambarès-et-Lagrave, Saint-Loubès in the commune. The commune is urbane with small areas of forest in the north and south and farmland in the west and north. Ambarès-et-Lagrave is surrounded by several cities of the Urban Community of Bordeaux: TER AquitaineThe commune is served by two railway stations: the Grave-d'Ambarès station and La Gorp station which have regular links with Bordeaux. TBC Network Trans Gironde Network In the 12th century the city of Ambarès belonged to a vast feudal domain comprising a large part of the marshes of Entre-deux-Mers; this area became the Barony of Montferrand.
The ancient parish of Ambarès was entirely under the jurisdiction of the Lords of Gua who levied tithes from the 15th century. The Lagrave district was attached to the commune of Ambarès in 1818. List of Successive Mayors Ambarès-et-Lagrave has twinning associations with: Kelheim since 1989. Norton Radstock since 1985. In 2009 the commune had 13,172 inhabitants; the evolution of the number of inhabitants is known through the population censuses conducted in the commune since 1793. From the 21st century, a census of communes with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants is held every five years, unlike larger towns that have a sample survey every year. Population change Sources: Ldh/EHESS/Cassini until 1962, INSEE database from 1968 The population of Ambarès-et-Lagrave has more than doubled between 1962 and 1999; this significant increase in the population is due to the its proximity to the city of Bordeaux. Although the tertiary sector is predominant in Ambarès-et-Lagrave, the town has many jobs in industry.
Allocation of Workers:Unemployment rate: 9.8% The commune has many buildings and structures that are registered as historical monuments: A Lavoir at La Gorp The Château Beauséjour was rebuilt in the middle of the 19th century but as farm buildings it may be older. The old house was listed as Pouyau in the old Land Registry; the Château du Tillac was the noble house of the Joly de Bonneau family. It was built in the 17th century at the site of an old house as it is located on one of the peaks at the end the peninsula; the Chauvette House at 10 Rue de la Commanderie des Templiers A House at 27 Rue Edmond-Faulat A House at 6-8 Rue Edmond-Faulat The Charron House at 9 Rue Edmond-Faulat The Château de Formont was a former noble house on one of the peaks of the end of the peninsula and is shown on the Belleyme map. The building may have been built in the early 18th century as indicated by the date it bore of 1723, now destroyed; the Café Duthil at 11 Avenue de la Gare A House at 7 Rue Guillaume-Peychaud The Château du Gua was a former noble house of the Laroque and Pineau families.
It was mentioned on the Belleyme map. The house was destroyed and rebuilt in 1866; the Le Gaès Farmhouse at 22 Avenue de la Libération The Rousseau House at 61 Avenue de la Libération A Wine Warehouse at 69 bis Avenue de la Libération The former Covered Market / Town Hall at the Place du Maréchal-Leclerc The Château Saint-Denis was an ancient noble house but not listed as such on the Belleyme map. Built in the 17th century for the Pineau family according to a U-shaped plan, it was the property of the actor Louis Jouvet in 1930. The Château Peychaud was a lordship documented since the 16th century belonging to the Fayet family; the old castle was rebuilt in 1680 and in the early 18th century when it included the current building flanked to the north by agricultural areas. The Château Bellevue was rebuilt in the middle of the 19th century on the site of a former U-shaped house mentioned as Puymanot on the Belleyme map and the old Land Registry, it has been converted into a school since 1980. The Château Durandeau was a former noble house of the Rishon family shown on the Belleyme map.
The building may have been built in the 17th century and rebuilt in the 18th century extensively restored in the middle of the 19th century. The Le Grain House at 32 Avenue du Roy The Beaujet House at 83 Avenue du Roy The Town Hall / School at Place de la Victoire The War Memorial at Place de la Victoire A Monumental Column at Rue de la Vierge Mills Winemakers' Huts Houses and Farms Montferrand Marsh The commune has several religious sites that are registered as historical monuments: The Parish Church of Saint Pierre The Chapel of Saint Denis The Cemetery at Rue Victor-Hugo The Presbytery at 3 Rue Victor-Hugo The former Church of the Templars Notre-Dame-de-la-Grave at Rue de la Vierge Monumental Crosses The Parish Church of Saint Pierre contains a large number of items that are registere