[ Related page: The 5 Greatest Wine Châteaux of Bordeaux ]
Bordeaux has a long history and deep-rooted tradition of wine. Wine has been produced in the Bordeaux region since the 8th century. Today, Bordeaux is the defacto wine industry capital of the world. It is the home of the world's principal wine fair, Vinexpo, and its wine economy generates nearly €15 billion annually.
Bordeaux has approximately 287,000 acres (nearly 116,200 hectares) planted to wine grapes, and boasts no fewer than 60 appellations. There are a whopping 10,000 wine-producing châteaux here! and some 13,000 wine-grape growers, collectively producing somewhere in the vicinity of 850 million bottles of wine each year.
Bordeaux produces both red and white wines, including some the world's most expensive wines. Among these are the area's five first growth (premier cru) red wines – four from Médoc and one from Graves, the latter a Château Haut-Brion offering. The four first growth red wines come from Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château Margaux, Château Latour and Château Mouton-Rothschild, respectively.
Bordeaux wines are generally blends of varietal grapes. Red Bordeaux wines are likely to be made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot; while white wines here are produced mainly from Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Muscadelle. A subregion of Graves, Sauternes, has gained notoriety for its characteristically and intensely sweet white dessert wines, notable among them an offering from Château d'Yquem. Approximately 89% of wine produced in the Bordeaux region is red, known in the United Kingdom as simply "claret." Rosé and sparkling wine are also produced here.
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