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Wines from Médoc AOC

Another Wine Gem in Bordeaux

Medoc is the world-famous Bordeaux wine region with several wine districts and AOC regions.

As wine lovers, we are very much aware of the world-famous Bordeaux wine region.

Within this region, there are several wine districts and AOC regions that are to be studied separately. Why I say this is because each and every district has its own unique characteristics that keep each one separate from the others.

One such wine district in Bordeaux is the Médoc. This district along with the coastal lagoons is found to be home to 4 of the most acclaimed wine villages. What more?

Wine grape varieties
This is home to a number of AOC wine regions, including the Médoc AOC within itself. Let’s see more about this wine district and the Médoc AOC here…

Overview of Médoc Wine District

In the southwestern part of France, the Médoc district is found to be wedged between the coastline of the great Atlantic Ocean and the estuary of Gironde.

Thus, the district is effectively a peninsula that extends about 80 kilometres from the city of Bordeaux to the Pointe de Grave.

What makes this wine district more suited for viticulture are the sandy and gravelly terrains. What we can understand through the history of the French wine industry that this wine district is long associated with full-bodied red wines.

As such, these wines that are produced here are found to be containing high amounts of tannins and medium to higher levels of alcohols. At the same time, they are found to be low in acidity levels.

It has been observed that the whole Médoc district has been divided into 3 major sections, which are namely:

  • Landes du Médoc
  • Bas-Médoc
  • Haut-Médoc

Description of the Médoc AOC

The Médoc AOC is used to define the wine areas that are lying on the left bank of the Gironde estuary and is covering the northern parts of the viticultural strip of the peninsula.

In general, this zone is referred to as Bas-Médoc (one of three major sections mentioned above), although the term is not permitted to be used on wine labels.

Broadly speaking, the term Médoc seemed to be used more of a geographical sense, which is referring to the entire Left Bank region.

As defined by the INAO, this appellation can be applied to all the wines that are being produced in the prescribed areas within the peninsula.

The borders of the AOC are defined by Saint-Yzans and Saint-Germain-dEsteuil on the south and Soulac-sur-Mer on the north.

Alcohol and Distilleries

Viticultural Activities in Médoc AOC

This AOC region with higher amounts of clayey soil is preferably used for producing wines from Merlot grape variety.

As of now, the AOC region is covering a total of 5,700 hectares of vineyards thereby comprising almost 34.5% of the whole Médoc district.

This particular AOC is producing nearly 300,000 hectolitres of wine each year. This quantity is equal to almost 38,000,000 bottles of wine. As of now, there are around 650 vine cultivators in this AOC region.

All around the AOC region, we can see the Merlot grape variety being planted more frequently than the expected Cabernet Sauvignon.

This is because of the soil types as mentioned above in addition to the soil characteristics including the heaviness and moisture-retentive nature.

Wines and Wine Grapes of Médoc AOC

It should be obvious from the above information that Merlot is the principal grape variety of the Médoc AOC, which is followed by the Cabernet Sauvignon.

We can observe that almost 50% of the total viticultural land of this AOC is being occupied by these two varieties as permitted by INAO.

Besides these, we can also find some other varieties within this AOC, which are namely:

  • Petit Verdot
  • Malbec
  • Cabernet Franc
  • Carménère

It’s not to be noted that this AOC has only red wines and no white wines are allowed to be identified as Médoc AOC, although there are few exceptions.

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Tharani Rajamanickam

Tharani Rajamanickam


I am Tharani, I have Bachelors degree in Biotechnology. I am passionate about the wine industry and continue to explore, learn and share and I bring in a wealth of knowledge and expertise to help you keep updated with best wines in the world. Stay tuned..

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