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Related region
Bordeaux
Related grapes
Cabernet Franc
Cabernet Sauvignon
Carménère
Malbec
Merlot
Muscadelle
Petit Verdot
Sauvignon Blanc
Sémillon
Wineries in this region
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Graves
Graves


There are 43 communes in this appellation. The best red wines are produced in the northern part of this area, amid the urban sprawl of Bordeaux. There we find the communes of Pessac, Léognan and Talence. The most famous château is of course Château Haut Brion. The only château, outside the Médoc, that was classified in 1855. Its reputation was so great that it was classified as a Premier Grand Cru Classé. Here we also find other famous châteaux for red wine. The Graves also produces classic dry white wines.


-Only wines from the defined area
-Only red and white wines
-Grape varieties red wines: Cabernet sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Carmenère
-Grape varieties white wines: Sémillon, Sauvignon blanc, Muscadelle
-Production: max. 50 hl. per ha., for both red and white wines

The gravel mounds that are so typical for the whole area dominate the soil. These mounds afford excellent drainage of water and are loose and airy. Because of their infertility the gravel mounds encourage the vines to send their roots down deep in search of nutrients. These gravel mounds rest on (starfish) limestone (Calcaire à astéries) plateaux. Going south in the Graves district the gravely topsoils become more mixed with sand.
Limestone Gravel

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The Graves 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 region is protected from sea winds by the coastal strip of pine forest which runs almost parallel to the region. In the Graves the climate is slightly warmer with a little bit more rainfall.The oceanic influence places the region in a very privileged position with few unwelcome extremes of temperature. 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 -18 C (0F). 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 Mild winters Warm summers