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Discovering the Medoc Wine Growing Region

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Bordered by forests and the grand estuary of the Gironde in Southwest France is one of the world's most revered wine growing regions - The Medoc. Literally a stone's throw away from the magnificent city of Bordeaux the Medoc wine growing region stretches up along the Medoc Peninsula for approximately 45 miles. Immaculately groomed vineyards await, steeped in a history of grape cultivation that has led to the production of many vintage red Medoc-Bordeaux wines during the last few centuries.

Our journey begins to the north of Bordeaux in the town of Blanquefort - gateway to the Medoc wine growing region. From here the D2 autoroute travels northwards cutting a path between the forest and marshes that lead down to the Gironde Estuary. The ground undulates through gentle crests and troughs, but overall is rather flat, allowing views of vine-covered land for as far as the eye can see. The landscape too is very photogenic, the lush green vines contrasting against lines of sandy coloured soils and light gravels, set against a deep azure sky.

By far the largest wine growing area in the Medoc is the regional appellation known as Haute-Medoc. It covers the area from Blanquefort to an area midway between Vertheuil and St Germain d'Esteuil in an almost unbroken run and is the region which produces the most diverse range of wines. Grape varieties include Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Carmen', Merlot Noir and Petit Verdot - all full-bodied, lively reds that develop a distinct bouquet over time.

Taking in the area of Labarde, Arsac, Ligondras and Margaux is the first of six world class wine growing communes in the Medoc. It is named after the chateau at Margaux and is known around the globe for its wines of distinction. Further up the D2 route the communes of Moulis and Listrac-Medoc are skirted on their east side before the exceptional vineyards of the St Juilien and Pauillac communes are encountered close to the water's edge.
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From Pauillac the road draws you inland towards Lesparre-Medoc in the heart of the regional appellation that is simply known as Medoc. These are the most northerly vineyards in the Medoc wine growing region and contains many cool dark cellars in which to sample some fine vintage wines.

How to get to the Medoc wine growing region

By far the best way to arrive in the Medoc refreshed and ready for adventure is by air. The international airport at Bordeaux caters for flights from all over the world, including Europe, North America and Asia. Many European flights are direct, while transatlantic flights may require a change at Paris international airport. Car hire can be booked in advance at Bordeaux airport (or Paris) -

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