Graves Wine Region Guide

A Timeless Terroir for Today's Connoisseur


Last updated: June 9, 2024


This is where it all began. Graves, a vast expanse of land that includes vines planted in the southern outskirts of the city of Bordeaux, hosts Bordeaux’s oldest vineyards. Its arid sand and gravel terroir has been supplying Europe’s aristocracy with aromatic, supple red wines for many centuries; in the 1300s, the archbishop who became Pope Clement V (of Avignon) planted what is now Château Pape Clement.

Three hundred years later, the Pontac family produced wine at Haut-Brion, one of Bordeaux’s illustrious First Growths. Today, these estates are located in Pessac-Leognan, a subregion within Graves known for producing some of Bordeaux’s finest red and white wines.

Yet there is much more to Graves than classified estates and blue chip labels. The southern end of this expansive zone has been reinvigorated by outside investment of late; the ability of Graves soil to make excellent red and white wines has been proven, time and time again, by Chateau Rahoul, Chateau de Chantegrive, Clos Foridene – and many others. Modern Graves, confident and re-energized, has become the veritable bargain of Bordeaux. It should be on your radar.


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James lawrence

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