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Graves Bordeaux

Graves is slightly southeast of the city of Bordeaux on the left bank of the Garonne River. Some of its well-known wine-producing villages are Martillac, Pessac, Sauternes, Talence, Portets, Léognan, and Saint-Morillon. Grapes grown here are Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Franc, as well as two white-wine grapes (Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon).

The winemaking tradition in Graves dates back to the Middle Ages, when the wines made were exported to England; however, the first named château wasn’t established until the beginning of the 14th century. That winery, Château Pape Clément, is still making wine today

Graves is unique in the Bordeaux region for its reputed dry whites and sweet wines, of which Sauternes is the best example. These sweet wines are produced in the Sauternais sub-region of Graves and made from Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon and Muscadelle grapes.

Quick Facts

  • Graves is named for its gravel-y soil, in which it’s not uncommon to find pieces of Ice-Age quartz
  • Château Haut-Brion, a First Growth winery, is located with the Graves appellation
  • In addition to wine-grapes, pine trees flourish in the Graves region

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