Graves
ESSENTIAL
Wine and spirits

Graves AOC

The red, dry white and sweet white wines from the Graves AOC area are all renowned for their elegance. They owe their typicality to the gravelly soil from which the area takes its name.

New Aquitaine
Production area :
New Aquitaine

What you need to know

Reputed to be the oldest wine growing area in Bordeaux, Graves owes its development to the English. The marriage of Eleanor of Aquitaine to England's King Henry II in 1152 boosted trade between Bordeaux and London. The rosés produced in the region, then known as clarets, were exported and very quickly won favor because of their freshness and vivacity. Large estates were gradually established, producing high quality wines, and by the end of the 18th century, the wines of Graves were dominating the French, English and Northern European markets. The AOC was awarded in 1937. However, the diseases of the 19th century and the winter frosts of 1956 set the industry back, and it was only in the 1970s that it recovered its economic success.
The region owes its name to the gravel which overlies its poor, well drained soils. The stones reflect the sun and redistribute its heat to the vines, ensuring better maturation of the grapes. The climate is mild and temperate, with an ocean influence. The area produces red Graves, (dry) white Graves and Graves Supérieures, which are sweet white wines and sweet dessert wines. The reds are mainly made from Merlot, to which Cabernet Franc and Cabernet-Sauvignon are added. Semillon is the main grape in the whites, complemented by Sauvignon and in the case of the Graves Supérieures, Muscadelle. To obtain this last appellation, the grapes must be harvested when they are overripe, through successive sorting processes.

Characteristics

Look Dark color, between ruby and purple Whites: pale gold with hints of green or pale yellow with hints of gold
Smell Reds: violet, with a characteristic smoky note, as well as notes of red fruits, spices, mocha Whites: grapefruit, passion fruit, white flowers, beeswax Graves Supérieures: citrus, candied peel, peach
Taste Reds: supple, rich, aromas of blackberry. Balance of strength and roundness. Whites: powerful, rounded and lively Graves Supérieures: round and dense, the sweetness is balanced by a slight acidity and fresh finish

Editor's note

« The 1855 classification of Grands Crus featured just one Graves, Château Haut-Brion. At the request of the Syndicat de défense de l'appellation des Graves (Graves Appellation Defense Syndicate), the Institut national des appellations d'origine (INAO, National Institute of Quality and Origin) revised the classification in 1953, giving the appellation a total of 16 Crus Distingués. All 16 of these are now located in the Pessac-Léognan area, which received its AOC label in 1987. »

How to use

Storing Graves AOC

5 to 15 years for the reds
1 to 5 years for the whites
2 to 5 years for the Graves Supérieures

Pair with

Savory: reds: red meats, game birds, porcini mushrooms, duck, lamb
Whites: snails with parsley, white meats in cream sauce, sea scallops, mussels
Graves Supérieures: foie gras, salty-sweet dishes.







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