With a 120,000 hectare area, it is the vastest of all French vineyards in AOC.
No region counts so many winegrowers (there are 10,000) nor such a considerable production: 760 million bottles of Bordeaux were sold in 2007.
The vineyard owes its incomparable notability to its most famous chateaus such as Pétrus, Mouton-Rothschild, Yquem, Haut-Brion, Cheval Blanc... These mythical names are classified vineyards--the official sign of upper quality--with one exception: Petrus, because this wine is Pomerol, an appellation which is not classified.
The official classification of Bordeaux wines dates from 1855 and prioritizes from "1st cru" through "5th cru". This only concerns the wines of Médoc, Sauternais and the single château of Graves, Haut-Brion.
As those of AOC Pessac-Léognan, the wines of Saint-Émilion then adopted an official classification which differentiates "premier grand cru classé A or B" and "grand cru classé".
The reputation of Bordeaux wine is fond of the unique expression of its 7 grape varieties. In red and in rosé, wines are often the product of an assemblage amongst cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot and petit verdot. In white, sauvignon blanc, sémillon and muscadelle are the most used.
Les appellations génériques
At the foundation, there is the simple AOC Bordeaux. Then, AOC Bordeaux supérieur, is theortically better. Certain chateaus make great efforts and commercialize agreeable wines. The region also differentiates AOC Bordeaux rosé and AOC Bordeaux clairet, whose pinkish wines are more coloured and are well-built.