Thousands of books have been written on Bordeaux; its history (temporarily ruled by the English), its wines; arguably the most famous wine region in the world, wines ranging from large volumes of everyday table wine, to some of the most expensive and respected wines in the world. Its terroir; mainly alluvial soils made of stones and debris - its climate; warm but exposed to maritime influences which can create issues at the time of harvest, and of its people; dynasties of négociants and family owners of the most famous Châteaux.
Bordeaux has a relatively simple topography: flat with simple vegetation, with two long rivers, the Garonnne and Dordogne, that split the region in half and then join together into the Gironde River that flows into the Atlantic Ocean.


Despite the simple features of the landscape, this region contains of the exact elements to produce wines of finesse, subtly and incredible ageing. The moderating climate from the Atlantic ocean and rivers creates a warming effect, protecting Bordeaux from harsh frosts. The gravel soils drain rain water away from the vine roots, allowing the damp resistant Cabernet Sauvignon varietal to ripen and mature slowly.
Bordeaux definitely has variable vintages, some hot and dry, and others very wet and cool. To moderate this inconsistency, Bordeaux blends together a variety of grapes that grow and ripen at different stages. Therefore, a Bordeaux red may consist of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc (with small percentages of Petit Verdot and Malbec in some vineyards). A Bordeaux white is often the blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon. These blends create well-balanced wines with good natural acidity, minerality and fruit character.

One key fact of the Bordeaux wine region compared to, say Burgundy, is that it is the land of blending. To the best of my knowledge, very few Bordeaux red or white wines are made with one single grape; it is always a complex blend of at least two, more frequently three varietals for the reds as well as the whites. Bordeaux is a life-long love affair - enjoy the journey.