Founded on April 17, 1948 by a group of key personalities among the merchants and growers, the Académie du Vin de Bordeaux (Bordeaux Wine Academy) is uniquely qualified to preserve and promote the spirit, history, and culture of Bordeaux wine in France and abroad. The cultivation of the vine in Bordeaux has not only produced wines which are universally recognized, but has also profoundly shaped the lifestyle of the Gironde. The result is a particular form of humanism, a spirit, an ethic, and a striving for perfection that can be felt the world over.
Like the prestigious Académie Française in Paris, the Bordeaux Academy—the most prestigious representative of Bordeaux wines has forty members. Among these are the owners of the most celebrated crus in Bordeaux, but there are also two members of the Académie Française, writers, artists, scholars, and university professors.
Conscious that sparkling AOC Bordeaux wines produced according to traditional methods are original and unique, winemakers and professionals in Bordeaux decided to apply rigorous rules to the making of these wines.
Thus was born the Crémant de Bordeaux AOC in 1990. These sparkling wines are fine and perfumed, very pleasant as an aperitif, to round off a meal, or even with food. Made with white Bordeaux that meers the AOC requirements, and sometimes with the must of red grapes used to make white wines, Crémants have less of a reputation than other sparkling AOC wines that are made in a similar wayrhis is due to the small quantity of Crémant de Bordeaux produced. The term methode champenoise was once
French wine’s success has been created on deservedly popular regions that are enshrined by the AOC (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée) laws, but unwillingness to guard such system in a meaningful logic has slowly debased historic reputations at precise point in the history when the New World manufacturers are eager at establishing their own range of wines.
France owns a total of 872 hectares of land under vine that also includes 70,000 hectares for the Cognac and 6,000 hectares for the Armagnac. It produces an average of approximately 57 million hectolitres of wine each year. From the mid of 1980s, there has been a drop in French wine production by 27% in response to moving away from lower-quality end of spectrum because wine consumers have started drinking less wine but they drink the better quality ones. The way that quality is classified is a highly contentious issue that is faced by the French wine industry.
With its Ionic peristyle, monumental staircase and classic facade, Chateau Margaux is as imposing as the celebrated cru of the same name. Nobility of balance and size, and a sumptuous style aptly define both this architectural jewel and the wine produced by the vine-yards that surround it. This distinguished residence housed Edward III, King of England; at the time it was one of the most imposing fortified chateaux in Guyenne. In the twelfth century, when it was known as La Mothe, it was owned by the powerful Albret family. Later it belonged to the Montferrand family, then to the Lords of Durfort.
In the mid-eighteenth century Chateau Margaux became the property of Monsieur de Fumel, a Bordeaux military commander who played a large part in building this magnificent estate's reputation. When the Marquis de la Colonilla acquired the property in 1802 he had the gothic manor house torn down and ordered the construction of the present chateau.
This property goes back a long way: Count de Nodoz sold it in 1791 to the family of J.J. Bordes, a well-known merchant-shipowner in Bordeaux. This family improved the vineyard and established its reputation. During the winegrowing crisis of 1930, the Magdeleine family bought the property from the wine merchants Posso and Rosenfeld. Beautifully located on a gravelly hillside, the vineyard covers forty hectares in the communes of Tauriac and Lansac. It benefits from maximum sunshine thanks to its east-south-east and south-west exposure.
After a traditional vinification, Chateau Nodoz wines are matured in Bordeaux oak casks for twelve to eighteen months, depending on the vintage. The Cotes de Bourg AOC wine has been rewarded with several medals in wine competitions and high praise in specialist magazines., A robust and generous wine, it can be enjoyed young but also offers surprises to those who are willing to wait.
Basically Vins de table are fairly simple wines for daily consumption with a consistent taste that is usually achieved through blending. Some specific wines are also included in this category.
The growth in Vin de Pays wines is enormous at the present time and this is not suprising because of the great inprovements in quality of this better table wine in recent years.
A Vin de Pays originates from a strictly defined wine-growing area, representing the soul of a specific territoir and is linked to the special characteristics of one or more varieties of grapes. Consumers find these French wines appproacheble with clear language on the label. Some Vins de Pays wines are so well made and demonstrate such love on the part of the wine maker that they outperform characterless AOC wines of anonymous wine merchants in both quality and price. Today’s wine drinkers demand quality for their money.
The quality of these French wines is certainly not lower than AOC wines. The criteria for selection are indeed often more rigid than for most AOC wines. VDQS wines are the only ones which have to be tested annually on order to retain their category. A VDQS wine is always therefore approved by a panel of experts before the predicate is awarded. For this reason you can rely totally on this category.
French wine classed as AOC (usually referred to as AC) originates from a clearly defined area in which the soil, climate, variety of grapes, and various legally-defined requiments provide a guarantee that the wine originates fron a given place. This is not, however, a guarantee of quality since these French wines are not tested each year and some of them do not deserve a quality predicate. Despite this, AOC wines form the top category of French wines.
Here we mean additions such as ‘Premiere Cru’, or ‘Grand Cru’ for Bordeaux wines, not such meaningless phrases as ‘Vin Supérieure de la cave du patron’ or ‘Cuvée reservé du sommelier’.
The better Bordeaux were classified in 1885 for a World Exhibition, based on quality criteria of the time. At that time ot related solely to wines of Médoc, Sauternes and on wine from Graves.
This lattercategory received its own Cru in 1959. Other area which have a similar Premier and Grand Cru classification include St Emilion and Côtes de Procence. Since 1932 the term ‘Cru bourgeois’ has also been used in Médoc. In Burgundy terms such as ‘Premier Cru’ and ‘Grand Cru’ are part of the official name of origin.