The geo-specific appellation “Bordeaux” covers an area stretching some 100 km both north-south and east-west. While the appellation contrôlée covers wines of medium quality from all over this region, many if not most of the top quality clarets grown in the overall area benefit from more specific and distinctive area appellations, such as, Médoc , Graves or Saint Emilion, and even more local appellations such as, Pauillac and Saint-Estèphe.
Unlike other French wine-growing areas, the Bordeaux area operates classifications of many of its top wines, notably those from the Médoc and Saint Emilion vineyards. The best estates in these areas have the right to sell wines designated as Grand Cru. Below the grand crus come other high-quality wines designated as Cru Bourgeois.
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