The Gironde, in south west France, is the country’s largest Departement, and the home of Bordeaux wines, including claret, Britain’s favorite French wine for centuries. But while all claret is Bordeaux, not all Bordeaux is claret.
Bordeaux is the largest region of fine wine production – red, white and dessert – in the world. The vines cover more than 500 square miles, split almost evenly between red and white grapes, and most of the wines have AC status. The vineyards run from the west bank of the Gironde estuary southwards to below the river Garonne.
Morey-St.Denis (Côte de Nuits): Deep colour, big bouquet and full fruity flavour. Age well.
Musigny (Côte de Nuits): Smooth and stylish with velvety fruit. Will keep for ages.
Nuits St. George (Côte de Nuits): Has improved recently. Spicy nose and big, rich plummy fruit flavour with touches of sweetness. Age well.
Pernand-Vergelesses (Côte de Beaune): Can be silky- smooth and fruity, but often not. Best drunk youngish.
Pommard (Côte de Beaune): Big and solid but classy, with plummy fruit. Age well.
Savoie is close to the Swiss border, a few miles south of Geneva and most of its production is white wine, although it does produce light red and rosé. The Jura vineyards start about 25 miles north west of Geneva and, like Savoie, cover about 3,000 acres. Red, white, rosé and sparkling wines are produced, as well as the unusual Vin de Paille, so-named because the grapes are dried on straw before pressing to impart very special characteristics.
A massive wine producing area running from Bergerac to the west of Bordeaux, and stretching south to the Spanish frontier and south east to the Mediterranean.