Bordeaux wines are essentially blend or coupage wines, that means they are made with different grape varieties to obtain a more complex and personalized wine. The coupage aims to complement or improve their qualities.
In the Bordeaux region, wineries work with six main varieties of grapes, three reds and three whites to produce their wines. The complementary grape varieties called "auxiliary", present in small quantities, seek to enrich the wine during the assembly, moment in which wines coming from different vineyard plots and barrels come together. The domain of this technique is one of the main reason for the specificity of Bordeaux wines.
In the past, the list of cultivated varieties was much higher although it has been drastically reduced, significantly increasing the Merlot area and reinforcing the presence of Cabernet Sauvignon, particularly in Médoc. Although probably the most significant change in the vineyard has been the shift towards red varieties. Until the 70s of the last century the vineyard practically was divided between red and white varieties but nowadays the inks represent almost 90% of the planting.
Within the red grape varieties, the ket three are Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot, which is the most representative. They are complemented with Petit-Verdot, Malbec and Carménère. Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in Médoc and Graves, Merlot in Saint-Emilion and Pomerol.
Bordeaux white wines are predominantly made from sauvignon blanc and semillon, and to a lesser extent muscadelle. The same as the reds, the white bordeaux are usually mixtures, using varieties of ugni blanc, colombard and merlot blanc.
It would be impossible to evoke Bordeaux wines without explaining the term "château viticole". In Bordeaux, the notion of castle goes beyond the architectural building, it appoints the crop produced on the grounds of the castle and the vineyard as a whole as well as the house of the owner´s family.
Before the French Revolution, the lords, only landowners, reserved the best lands. This explains why some Bordeaux wines have magnificent castles and why the surrounding vineyards are famous.
From the end of the 18th century until the 20th century, the castles have multiplied in the vineyards of Bordeaux, with a particularly active period in the Medoc after the 1855 classification. Thereafter, due to the commercial success of the wines that mention the word "castle", many properties of Médoc rushed to adopt this term. Since then, the castle has become a showcase for the owners, with increasing investments.
Today, Bordeaux areas continue to develop, aware of the attractive power that can be a winery with a careful and refined appearance, and the vast majority of wines in the area are named after a castle, although there are exceptions such as Petrus , the great cru de Pomerol, or Clos-Haut-Peyraguey, the Grand Cru Classé de Sauterne.
However, Bordeaux castle does not have to be synonymous with ostentation. Many wine castles are relatively small in size and in some cases, the term applies to a simple country house.
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