France: Bordeaux

Southern Médoc

Margaux, Listrac and Moulis
By Jane Anson

This Guide was last updated on 20 March 2010
To explore this Wine Travel Guide, select from the menu on the left

Main appellations


An appellation for red wine, centred on the villages of Margaux, Soussans, Cantenac, Labarde and Arsac. The vineyards are situated on gravelly islands surrounded by streams and marshland. The gravel is particularly deep here, and around the communes of Margaux and Cantenac there is a series of white gravel ridges where the eighteen crus classés are to be found.


This red wine appellation is set back the furthest from the Gironde estuary. Although not consisting of the best gravel sites there are some gravel ridges to the west with a clay and limestone plain lying to the east. The wines are robust with good ageing qualities.


This red wine appellation is the smallest within the Haut-Médoc area and consists of a narrow band just 12km long and 300-400m wide. The vineyards fall into three main areas: the first to the west from Bordeaux to Soulac comprises limestone crests with ancient gravel slopes; in the centre there is a plain of clay and limestone; and the third lies to the east where there are fine gravel ridges which form the best terroir. The wines are supple and usually develop quite rapidly.


This vineyard area lies on slightly higher land than Bas-Médoc (the simple AC Médoc), and covers the whole of the region, finishing at the outskirts of Bordeaux. An AC for red wines it includes the vineyard area not included in the communal ACs of Listrac, Moulis and Margaux. The best wines are from the Cru Bourgeois châteaux.


Generic appellation for reds, rosés and whites (mostly dry) for the whole region, and along with Bordeaux Supérieur below, the only AC that can be used for whites and rosés within the Médoc district. In addition, some reds may on occasions be declassified to this appellation, or of course, if the château owns vineyards outside the Médoc appellations it will use ‘Bordeaux AC’ for the blend.

Bordeaux Supérieur

Covering the same area as the basic Bordeaux AC but with an extra half degree of alcohol and lower yields.

Crémant de Bordeaux

A very small amount of sparkling wine is made under this appellation. The majority of grapes must be from the main Bordeaux varieties and 100% from the Bordeaux AC area. The Traditional Method (bottle fermentation) is used.

This information is provided free of charge, however it is strictly the copyright of Wine Travel Guides and its contributors. We try to do our best in keeping our guides and information up-to-date and accurate, but if you notice any mistakes, please contact us. Note that we take no responsibility for any inaccuracies. Thanks for your respect and understanding. For full details see our Terms and Conditions.