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Related region
Bordeaux
Related grapes
Cabernet Franc
Cabernet Sauvignon
Carménère
Malbec
Merlot
Wineries in this region
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Saint-Émilion
Saint-Émilion


Famous wine region on the right bank of the Dordogne, a few miles from Libourne. The vineyards surround the ancient town of St.-Émilion. They were split up in the ‘côtes’ (hillsides) and the ‘graves’ (gravely terrains). Wines from the côtes like Château Ausone were expected to be more full-bodied and the wines from the graves like Château Cheval Blanc, finer and richer. This initial categorization was maybe appealing for its simplicity but underestimated completely the diversity of St.-Émilion’s soil.


-Only wines from the communes: St.-Émilion, St.-Christophe-des-Bardes, St.-Laurent-des-Combes, St.-Hipolyte, St.-Étienne-de-Lisse, St.-Pey-d'Armens, St.-Sulpice-de-Faleyrens.
-Only red wines
-Grape varieties red wines: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Carmenère.
-Production: max. 45 hl. per ha. for St.-Émilion, 40 hl. per ha. for St. Émilion Grand Cru.

St.-Émilion has a very diverse soil. In general one finds three main category’s: the côtes, the graves and the sandy soil. The côtes are the hillsides, the graves are the gravely terrains and the sandy soil is the stretch of deep sand between St.-Émilion and Pomerol.
Limestone Gravel Sand

St.-Émilion has a maritime climate, caused by the Atlantic. The warm Gulf Stream and the Gironde act as a heat-regulator and moderate the climate. This gives the region mild winters, warm summers, and long, sunny autumns. The climate of St.-Émilion is more continental however, with a greater variation of temperature during the day and less rainfall during summer and winter. Much to the concern of the vignerons however, harvest time and the rainy season arrive about the same time. If the rains come early all grapes will not be fully ripened. If the rains come during harvest, the grapes can lose concentration. The record keepers have observed that in any ten-year span there will be, from a climate point of view, three great years, three poor years, and four that are mediocre. Sometimes the normally mild region is rudely reminded of its northern latitude. In February 1956 a hard frost occurred with temperatures below -18º C (0º F). There is also the lingering concern that the Saint de Glace may visit the budding vines in the first weeks of May. Like in 1991.
Atlantic ocean Sunny Sunny autumns