Family Travel Guide with Kids

100 Interesting Facts about Bordeaux Wine for Kids

Fun Facts about Bordeaux Wine La Cité du Vin

Wonder discover the fun facts about Bordeaux wine with kids?Bordeaux stands alone as the world’s wine region par excellence and maintains its rightful place at the pinnacle of the wine world. The combination of quality, history, availability, consistency, name recognition and cachet simply cannot be matched.The vast Bordeaux region stretches across the southwest coast of France. It contains over 120,000 hectares (297,000 acres) of vineyards, making it one of the largest wine producing regions in the world. The size and variety of its terroirs are important factors in Bordeaux’s ability to produce extensive quantities of high quality wines.

100 interesting facts about Bordeaux wine

1. Bordeaux is one of the largest wine regions in France with over 120,000 hectares under vine.

2. The first vineyards in Bordeaux were planted by the Romans in the 1st century AD.

3. Bordeaux has over 9,000 châteaux producing wine.

4. The Bordeaux region is divided by the Gironde estuary into the Left Bank and Right Bank.

5. The Left Bank is known for its Cabernet Sauvignon based red blends while the Right Bank focuses more on Merlot.

6. There are 57 appellations in Bordeaux producing both red and white wines.

7. The Médoc and Graves appellations are key regions on the Left Bank.

8. Pomerol and Saint-Émilion are renowned appellations on the Right Bank.

9. Sauternes and Barsac are famous appellations for sweet white Bordeaux wines.

10. The 1855 Classification ranked Bordeaux wines into a prestige hierarchy still followed today.

11. The top 5 red wines were named First Growths or Premiers Crus – Lafite, Latour, Margaux, Haut-Brion and Mouton Rothschild.

12. Mouton Rothschild was promoted from Second to First Growth in 1973.

13. Cabernet Sauvignon is the main red grape comprising over 50% of Bordeaux vineyards.

14. Merlot is the second most planted red grape making up the majority of Right Bank blends.

15. Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot are other key red grapes used in Bordeaux blends.

16. Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon are the main white grapes of Bordeaux.

17. Muscadelle is a minor grape that adds aroma to Bordeaux whites.

18. Bordeaux reds are often blended wines from several grape varieties.

19. The percentages vary but Cabernet Sauvignon dominates Left Bank blends while Merlot dominates Right Bank.

20. Bordeaux whites are most commonly blends of Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon.

21. Bordeaux reds are designed for aging with top wines cellared 15-50+ years.

22. Top vintages for Bordeaux reds include 1945, 1959, 1982, 2000, 2005, 2009, 2010.

23. Bordeaux vineyards are planted at high density, up to 10,000 vines per hectare.

24. The Médoc classification includes First to Fifth Growths as well as Crus Bourgeois.

25. Graves and Pessac-Léognan produce both red and white wines.

26. Sauternes is made from grapes affected by botrytis cinerea or noble rot.

27. Château d’Yquem is the most famous and prestigious Sauternes.

28. Pomerol has no official classification system, unlike the Médoc.

29. Château Petrus is one of Pomerol’s most legendary and expensive wines.

30. Saint-Émilion has Premiers Grands Crus Classés A and B designations.

31. Château Ausone and Cheval Blanc are Saint-Émilion’s two Premiers Grands Crus Classés A.

32. The Left Bank is influenced by the Atlantic Ocean leading to more rainfall.

33. The Right Bank has a more continental climate.

the fun facts about Bordeaux

the fun facts about Bordeaux Wine

34. Bordeaux vineyards are planted on well-draining gravel, limestone and clay soils.

35. The Gironde estuary provides a tempering influence helping grapes ripen.

36. Bordeaux’s climate is considered moderate overall without extreme winters or summers.

37. Bordeaux vineyards are at risk from springtime frost which can damage buds.

38. Harvest usually takes place in September and October.

39. Some estates still hand pick grapes but mechanical harvesting has become more common.

40. Oak barrels are used to age Bordeaux reds for 12-24 months to impart structure and flavor.

41. Bordeaux whites typically see little or no oak to preserve freshness.

42. En primeur is a unique system where Bordeaux futures are sold ahead of bottling.

43. Bordeaux wines are sold en primeur as wine futures 18 months after harvest.

44. Buying en primeur allows customers to buy wines early often at lower prices.

45. En primeur wines are delivered 2-3 years after the harvest when bottled.

46. The annual en primeur campaign runs from late March through May.

47. Château Mouton Rothschild innovated unique artist-designed labels each vintage since 1945.

48. In 1988, Mouton was the first Bordeaux estate to introduce screwcap closures.

49. Bordeaux bottles come in a standard Bordeaux shape with sloping shoulders.

50. A standard 750 ml Bordeaux bottle holds 25.3 oz of wine.

51. Bordeaux wines have alcohol levels from 12-15% for reds and 11-13% for whites.

52. Cabernet Sauvignon gives Bordeaux reds their structure and tannins.

53. Merlot adds softness, richness and plum flavors to blends.

54. Cabernet Franc contributes floral, herbal and spice notes to Bordeaux reds.

55. Malbec adds dark fruit flavors and soft tannins to Bordeaux blends.

56. Petit Verdot brings color, tannins and acidity to red Bordeaux.

57. Sauvignon Blanc gives fresh citrus notes to dry white Bordeaux wines.

58. Sémillon adds body, texture and aromas of beeswax and honey to whites.

59. Muscadelle adds perfume and fruitiness to Bordeaux white blends.

60. Botrytized grapes concentrated the sugars resulting in sweet Sauternes.

61. Bordeaux wines are still predominantly fermented in stainless steel or concrete tanks.

62. Some producers use oak, clay amphora or egg-shaped concrete vessels for fermentation.

63. Bordeaux wines are typically unfined and unfiltered.

64. The Gironde estuary provides access for shipping Bordeaux wines worldwide.

65. Bordeaux exports over 30 million cases of wine each year.

66. Main export markets include the UK, Belgium, Germany, China, Japan and the US.

Interesting Facts about Bordeaux Wine la Cité du Vin

Interesting Facts about Bordeaux Wine la Cité du Vin

67. There are over 7,300 wine producers and 11,250 winegrowers in Bordeaux.

68. Bordeaux wine production generates over 15 billion euros annually.

69. Wine tourism is big business with over 6 million visitors touring Bordeaux wineries annually.

70. The Bordeaux Wine Festival is a biennial public event attracting 800,000 people.

71. Vinexpo is one of the largest international wine trade fairs held in Bordeaux each odd year.

72. Bordeaux restaurants have more Michelin stars than any other city in France besides Paris.

73. Local Bordeaux dishes include lamprey eel, duck breast, beef, oysters and cheese.

74. Bordeaux wines are classified by commune, not by producer, based on terroir.

75. The Institut National de l’Origine et de la Qualité oversees Bordeaux appellations.

76. Bordeaux has 57 appellations including generic Bordeaux and Bordeaux Supérieur.

77. The Bordeaux appellation makes about 170 million bottles annually.

78. Bordeaux Supérieur comes from the same area but has stricter standards.

79. Graves and Médoc were the first Bordeaux appellations formally defined in 1936.

80. Saint-Émilion is the only appellation with UNESCO World Heritage status.

81. There are over 5,000 châteaux in Bordeaux if small estates are included.

82. The Left Bank has more Cabernet, the Right Bank more Merlot.

83. Vine density ranges from 5,000-10,000 vines per hectare based on terroir.

84. Bordeaux vineyards cover approximately 115,000 hectares (284,000 acres).

85. Bordeaux contains over 6% of all French AOC vineyard acreage.

86. The Bordeaux Wine Council promotes Bordeaux wine globally.

87. Vineyards are sustainably farmed to preserve Bordeaux terroir.

88. Bordeaux soils include gravel, limestone, clay, sand and silt.

89. Bordeaux has hot, dry summers and wet winters.

90. Bordeaux’s five major grape varieties account for over 90% of plantings.

91. Bordeaux wine style aims for balance, elegance and complexity.

92. Top vintages are when heat and rain are optimal during the growing season.

93. Bordeaux vineyards are highly fragmented with many growers selling to négociants.

94. Négociants assemble, blend, age and bottle the wines.

95. The Bordeaux trade is dominated by a few major négociants.

96. Bordeaux bottle labels will indicate the château, appellation, producer and classification.

97. Bordeaux wines labeled mis en bouteille au château are estate-bottled.

98. The Bordeaux Wine Bureau was created in 1948 to promote Bordeaux wine globally.

99. Bordeaux hosts Vinexpo, the world’s largest wine trade exhibition.

100. Bordeaux is one of the world’s most iconic, prestigious and collected wine regions.

 

Why Bordeaux wine is considered the best

Interesting Facts about Bordeaux Wine

Why Bordeaux wine is considered the best

Bordeaux wine is renowned globally as one of the greatest and most prestigious wine regions in the world. As the largest appellation in France, Bordeaux has built an unparalleled reputation for quality, longevity, investment potential and collectability over centuries of winemaking. There are several key factors that contribute to Bordeaux’s status as the pinnacle of wine excellence.

The first is Bordeaux’s ideal climate and geology for growing wine grapes, especially those used in red wine blends. Bordeaux benefits from a temperate maritime climate, characterized by mild winters, moderate rainfall, plenty of sunshine, and warm but rarely hot summers. This allows grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc to ripen fully while retaining enough acidity and depth of flavor to have aging potential. The soils are also perfectly suited to these varieties. The left bank has gravel that drains well and ripens Cabernet, while the right bank’s clay and limestone is ideal for Merlot. This climate and soil diversity allows for a range of wine styles.

Bordeaux’s reputation is also built on its rich history of innovation in winemaking and viticulture. Bordeaux possesses centuries of collective knowledge on blending, oak aging, and terroir expression. Bordeaux winemakers embrace new technologies but balance them with time-honored traditions. This mastery and artistry is unmatched. Even in poor vintages, skilled producers craft excellent wines.

The classified growth system established in 1855 also gives Bordeaux a quality hierarchy that is globally understood. From first growths down to fifth and crus bourgeois, the classifications provide benchmarks to gauge quality expectations even across millions of bottles from thousands of producers. No other region has such a thorough, historical ranking of its best properties.

The high volume of production also allows Bordeaux wines to be more available in the marketplace and to showcase vintages over many years. In good years, there is enough wine to satisfy demand for decades. This availability provides many opportunities to experience Bordeaux’s best vintages. Other regions cannot match this scale and longevity across producers.

Bordeaux’s market dominance and strong international demand also ensure prices remain relatively stable, even at the highest end. The top chateaux with the best terroirs command the highest prices easily at auction and through futures sales. But Bordeaux offers excellent wines at all price points, from lesser-known small producers to second and third growths. Value can be found in Bordeaux like few places.

The ability to cellar and collect top Bordeaux is another one of its differentiating qualities. The combination of grape varieties, climate, soils and production methods creates ageworthy wines built to last decades in bottle. A mature, perfectly cellared bottle of Bordeaux is an experience every wine lover should have. Other regions simply do not produce large quantities of collectible wines with this aging capability.

Bordeaux also benefits from its easy access to major shipping routes from its location on the Gironde estuary. The merchant trade fueled by Bordeaux’s port enabled its wines to gain global acclaim centuries ago. Today, Bordeaux’s infrastructure and connections still facilitate worldwide distribution better than inland regions.

The sheer diversity of Bordeaux’s wines across its 57 appellations is also a key strength. From the varied terroirs of the Medoc and Graves to Saint-Emilion, Pomerol, Sauternes and beyond, there are so many unique wines and styles to experience. No matter what one’s preference is, a Bordeaux wine exists to match it.

The continued advancement of winemaking and viticulture ensures Bordeaux maintains its reputation. Winemakers blend traditional and modern techniques while adopting sustainable practices in the vineyards. Investment in technology and equipment is high. And the strong academic research presence keeps progress ongoing.

Bordeaux also holds an esteemed status as a global luxury brand that transcends wine. The name itself evokes quality and prestige. As one of Europe’s most recognized and historic wine regions, Bordeaux retains a romantic, even mysterious, appeal. Traveling to Bordeaux and its beautiful chateaux is a bucket list dream for many wine lovers. The storied reputation simply adds to its esteem.

 

Is Bordeaux the wine capital of the world?

Bordeaux has a strong claim to being considered the wine capital of the world :

  • It is one of the largest premium wine producing regions in the world, with over 120,000 hectares under vine. The scale of production means Bordeaux wines have a strong presence in the global marketplace.

  • Bordeaux has a very long and storied history of wine production going back to Roman times. The region has centuries of winemaking expertise.

  • The Bordeaux classification system of 1855 provides a widely understood ranking of quality for its best wines. Names like First Growths and Grand Cru Classé are recognized worldwide.

  • Bordeaux’s important role in the international wine trade has made its wines known globally for centuries. Its access to major shipping routes helped make it an internationally influential wine region.

  • It is home to many of the world’s most iconic, coveted and expensive wines from famous producers like Château Lafite, Château Margaux, Château Latour and Château Haut-Brion.

  • Bordeaux wines enjoy an unparalleled reputation for aging capability and longevity thanks to their grape blends, terroir and production methods. Vintages are collected for decades.

  • The region produces a diverse array of wine styles from different grapes and terroirs, from Cabernet-based Medoc wines to Merlot-based Right Bank wines to sweet Sauternes.

However, there are also arguments in favor of other regions:

  • Burgundy also has a long prestigious wine history and some of the most terroir-expressive wines.

  • Champagne is the undisputed king of sparkling wines and a globally recognized symbol of celebration.

  • California and Australia have argued they make as high quality wines as the French.

  • Italy and Spain offer incredible wine diversity and value.

So while a strong case can be made for Bordeaux as the “wine capital”, the arguments exist for other regions as well based on different criteria. It may come down to what is considered most important in determining the “world’s best” wine region. But Bordeaux would be on any list in that discussion.

 

Find Rare Wines from the International Wine of the Month Club

Find Rare Wines from the International Wine of the Month Club Interesting Facts about Bordeaux Wine

Find Rare Wines from the International Wine of the Month Club Interesting Facts about Bordeaux Wine

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In the Bold Reds club, you’ll receive medium- to full-bodied wines with deep fruit flavors, pronounced ripe tannins, superb structure, and well-integrated oak tones from barrel aging.

Enjoy such wines as full-bodied California Cabernets, single vineyard red Zinfandels, sublime Priorats and Ribera del Dueros from Spain, Châteauneuf-du-Papes from the Rhône Valley, highly acclaimed Carmenères, Cabernets, and Malbec blends from South America, and much more.

 

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