History and Description of Bordeaux Wines Try saving

History and Description of Bordeaux Wines Try saving

History and Description of Bordeaux Wines Try saving

A comprehensive history of the Bordeaux wine area, as well as a full analysis of the style and character of its wines. The history of the region begins with the first grapes being planted by the Romans and continues through the Bordeaux categorization of the Medoc in 1855 and on to the present day.

This website also includes information on the soil, winemaking, the influence of Robert Parker, futures, and other topics.

If you’d want to learn more about more Bordeaux winemakers from other Bordeaux appellations, check out these links:

All Bordeaux Wine Producer Profiles may be found here. If you are interested in learning more about Bordeaux wine, we have various articles covering everything from the history of the Bordeaux area and the renowned 1855 Classification to the grapes used to create Bordeaux wine and even vintage summaries, spanning Bordeaux wine from 1900 to today: Everything You Need to Know About Bordeaux Wine Guide

On the page, you will find links to every key Bordeaux wine-producing appellation, which will take you to profiles of all of the region’s top Bordeaux chateaux.

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The origins and development of the Bordeaux Wine Region are documented here.

Bordeaux’s Early History

Wine production in Bordeaux has its roots in the ancient Romans, who were the first people to cultivate, grow vineyards, and manufacture wine in the area.

The Romans conquered the region in 60 BC. Burdigala was the name given to the region by the indigenous people.

The vestiges of the Palais Gallien amphitheater are the most intact ruins from the time of the ancient Romans that can be found in Bordeaux, according to history lovers.

Ruins may still be seen dispersed over the whole area, on both the banks and in Graves. Bordeaux has already begun to gain recognition for its wines as early as the first century AD.

In Gaul and Britain, the wines were given out to Roman troops and people. Pliny the Elder mentions plants in Bordeaux in his works.

Amphorae pieces have been uncovered at Pompeii that includes references to Bordeaux wine. Many of the properties in St. Emilion contain old Roman remains spread across their vines.

The Chateau Ausone in Saint Emilion is named after Ausonius, a Roman poet who may have resided in a house near the site of the chateau.

The Bordeaux appellation was ideal for growing grapes for wine production. It provided a one-of-a-kind combination of the ideal soil for cultivating the grapes used in wine production, as well as convenient access to the Garonne river, which was required to facilitate the shipment of the wines to Romain areas.

The original Bordeaux wines were most likely made from vineyards imported from Spain, namely Rioja.

Aside from having the ideal mix of soils and maritime environment for producing wine grapes, Bordeaux has another significant advantage: it was strategically placed next to the Gironde river, which enabled shipping of its wines to the Atlantic Ocean simple.

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Bordeaux and England were the starting points.

The next significant event in the history of the Bordeaux wine area occurred in 1152, when the heir to the Duchy of Aquitaine, known as Eleanor of Aquitaine, married Henry Plantagenet, the future king of England.

The royal wedding included the consumption of Bordeaux wine. Henry Plantagenet, later known as King Henry II, was the son of the English nobleman Henry Plantagenet. Bordeaux had grown into a significant metropolis by the late 1300s.

In reality, that was so large that it was the second-most populated city under the rule of the British Monarchy, behind London, in terms of population.

The Bordeaux wine trade started exporting to England in 1302 from St. Emilion at the pleasure of King Edward 1. The first shipment arrived in England in 1302.

The very first Bordeaux wine to be exported was from Saint Emilion. To keep in mind, there was no active wine commerce in the Medoc at the time, and the wines of Saint Emilion had already established a reputation for superiority in the world of wine.

As you will see, the relationship between Bordeaux wine, England, and monarchy has played a significant role in the history of Bordeaux. Bordeaux wine is produced in the Bordeaux region of France. The King of France freed Negociants from paying taxes in order to aid in the growth of the wine trade.

Bordeaux and England’s union is a historical event.

It was via the marriage of King Henry VIII and Eleanor that England was able to keep Aquitaine, which included Bordeaux, under its control for more than 300 years, which coincided with the end of the Hundred Years’ War (which really lasted 116 years) in October 1453.

Consequently, Bordeaux wine had already been found by the British wine enthusiast community by the time the Hundred Years War was ultimately finished.

The son of Eleanor and Henry II, Richard the Lionheart drank Bordeaux wine on a daily basis, according to historical records.

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The Bordeaux wine-buying public concurred, stating that if Bordeaux was good enough for the King, then it was good enough for all loyal British wine enthusiasts, including themselves.

The Bordeaux wine trade started to grow as a result of this development. Bordeaux wine continues to gain prominence in the trade with the United Kingdom.

Several hundred commercial ships from the United Kingdom traveled to Bordeaux twice a year, right between Easter and Christmas, to trade British goods for Bordeaux wine.

Bordeaux’s marshes are being drained by the Dutch.

The next significant event in the history of the Bordeaux wine trade occurred when the Dutch needed to construct roads in order to make it simpler to move commodities across the whole area. The Netherlands, along with the United Kingdom, were important consumers of Bordeaux wine.

As European royalty wanted the greatest Bordeaux wines, British customers sought the best Bordeaux wines as well.

Dutch purchasers were more interested in the best value Bordeaux wines, which were produced by a number of different producers. The Dutch were inconvenienced by this since they need their Bordeaux wine to be supplied fast before it soured.

Because they were looking for the lowest-priced wines, and because those wines would not last long, they needed to move quickly. The notion of burning sulfur in barrels was conceived by Dutch traders, who discovered that it improved the wine’s capacity to survive and mature.

They are also recognized for contributing to the development of another, even more significant, aspect of the Bordeaux wine trade. It is true that the Dutch’s next contribution completely transformed the wine-growing environment of the Bordeaux area forever.

There were already a lot of Bordeaux vineyards planted and tended, and they were producing wine by the 1600s. However, most of the territory was still comprised of useless swampland and marshes, making it difficult to develop.

It was Dutch engineers who had the brilliant idea to drain the marshes and wetlands. This enabled them to ship their Bordeaux wine more quickly, and as a result, there was a significant increase in the amount of vineyard area available for growing grapes to produce more Bordeaux wine.

Jan Adriaasz Leeghwater, a Dutch engineer, was tasked with developing a plan for draining Bordeaux’s wetlands, and he was appointed to the position (1575-1650). When Jan Adriaasz Leeghwater eliminated the swamp water from the Bordeaux environment, it was a watershed moment in the city’s history. This has two consequences.

It made it possible to carry commodities and people more efficiently. More crucially, ground that had previously been unsuitable became ideal for agriculture, and ultimately many of the now-famous Bordeaux vineyards were established on territory that had previously been nothing more than a swamp or marsh.

It is interesting to note that the same technologies that were used to rid Bordeaux of swamp water are still in use today for the same reason.

Pumping stations are created to drain the water away from the land, and dikes are constructed in order to achieve this goal. Reeds are planted on the muddy surface area that has been created after the water has been removed.

With time, the remaining water will be absorbed. New water canals are being constructed at the same time. Ultimately, this aids in the improvement of drainage so that the formerly swamp-like conditions do not re-occur. Many of the original water canals may still be seen in various locations around the Medoc.

Bordeaux would not have existed without the contributions of the Dutch. Along with helping to drain the wetlands, their efforts as some of the earliest negociants contributed to the growth in the production and exports of Bordeaux wine, which was a direct result of their work.

It became more difficult to export Bordeaux wine as the 18th century drew to a conclusion because ships were in danger when traveling across the English Channel as a result of the Spanish Succession War.

Trade between France and England was effectively suspended at this point. At least when it comes to formal commerce.

Soon after, the unofficial trade took control. The greatest Bordeaux wine, despite its high price, nonetheless managed to make its way to the auction houses in London, where it was purchased by affluent, thirsty buyers.

Pirates were able to seize a large amount of the Bordeaux wine. Private agreements between pirates and the proprietors of the Bordeaux chateaux, on the other hand, were fairly plausible, according to some speculation.

Demand for Bordeaux wine has begun to grow on a commercial scale.

Originally, Bordeaux wines were sold just by the name Bordeaux, which was printed on the labels. Towards the end of the 16th century, particular areas and brands started to emerge, enabling discerning buyers to choose which Bordeaux vineyard or appellation they want to purchase.

Haut Brion, Margaux, Lafite, and Latour were among the first labels to establish themselves as household names. Buyers began to seek out wines from certain communes only gradually as time went on. Once people started to realize or appreciate the distinctions, the Second Growths, as they are now known, were the next brands to earn a cult following.

All of this business needed to prosper in a market dominated by export, and Bordeaux was the ideal location for this since its ports were the biggest and already busiest port for trade in all of France at the time, making it the ideal location.

The necessity for negotiators and courtiers arose as a result of the increased need for transportation, selling, and financing. The first recorded instance of this stage in the Bordeaux wine trade goes back to 1620, when it was implemented by the Dutch business Bierman.

During the early 1700s, this soon spread with the establishment of businesses that are still in operation today. Nathaniel Johnston, Schroder and Schyler, and the Lawtons are examples of the earliest negociant firms.

During that historical period, the chateaux managed the vineyard, produced the wine, and stored it in barrels of wine.

From that point on, the negotiators were in charge of the remainder of the task, which included everything from bottling to sales and distribution. Please keep in mind that the chateau owners were all quite rich, with several belonging to the royal family.

The Negociants and the Bordeaux wine trade are two sides of the same coin.

The engagement of the estates in the actual sale of their products may have been considered unseemly at the time by the nobles who controlled the majority of the estates. Bringing on someone to handle the humdrum business aspects of running a wine-producing château was just what they needed.

Additionally, the cost of producing wine, maintaining the chateau, and maintaining the vines was a significant financial burden for the chateaux’s proprietors.

The arrangement, in which the negociants agreed to purchase the wine in advance of bottling and distribution, proved to be the most effective technique of maintaining the viability of this huge chateau, vineyard, and wine-producing businesses.

The most powerful negotiators quickly rose to the position of the unofficial bank for the chateau’s proprietors. The Bordeaux system is still the only one in the world.

The fact that the estates sell all of their wine through wholesalers and distributors means that Bordeaux has become the only wine-producing area in which buyers have never had direct touch with the chateau and its owners.

Because there was no alcohol to purchase, it was never an issue. Another factor contributing to the success of the negociant system. The monarchy figured out a means to own a commercial operation while remaining out of touch with the general public.

Bordeaux vineyards are becoming more popular.

The year 1725 was the first time that definite appellation limits were established. The Vignoble de Bordeaux was the name given to the whole collection of vineyards.

At this moment, wines started to be marketed with the name of the region and location in which the wine was made included on the label.

Within a short period of time, consumers began to buy wines from their preferred appellations and learned to recognize the variations between the wines and wineries produced in each commune.

There was a flurry of activity as rich Bordeaux landowners and members of the royal family started constructing breathtaking chateaux and planting vineyards, notably Nicolas Alexandre and Marquis de Segur, who owned a number of chateaux in the Médoc.

He laid the groundwork for the establishment of Château Rauzan Segla, Château Rauzan Gassies, Château Pichon Longueville Baron, Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, and other now-famous vineyards. Pierre de Rauzan was born in the village of Pichon Longueville in the commune of Lalande.

In the course of the French Revolution, Bordeaux estates were taken from the affluent, members of the Royal Family, people with aristocratic titles, and members of the Catholic Church. Estates were often divided into smaller portions and sold at an auction to raise money.

As part of the Napoleonic code of succession law, which required citizens to leave their property, in this instance a chateau and vineyards, it was required that the holdings be split equally among their offspring. This was the situation in the early 1800s.

This strategy, which was common in Burgundy and other French wine areas, resulted in the size of each generation’s holdings steadily shrinking, and the vineyard’s perforce got less and smaller.

In Bordeaux, however, this was not the situation. So that their vineyards would not be reduced in size and scope, the owners started constructing a structure of shareholders for their estates rather than single owners in order to prevent this outcome.

Napoleonic succession law did not apply to the stockholders since they were not parties to the Napoleonic code.

Many of the Bordeaux estates were able to maintain their vast size and scale, and some were even able to expand their vineyards as a result.

The most widely utilized vehicle for this was an SCEA, or Societe-civile, which is a kind of tractor that is commonly used in the agricultural business.

This is still relevant today since a SCEA is not subject to the same taxation as a company. rather than this, each of the partners is responsible for his or her own taxes, which are based on their share of ownership in the SCEA.

It is easy to argue that the Medoc has always been a country of luxury and privilege for those at the very top of society. Originally, the area was established as a haven for the rich, as well as individuals of noble lineage and with royal blood streaming throughout their veins.

They possessed the vision, as well as the financial resources, to establish what we now know as Bordeaux. Because of their relationships with other members of the royal society, it was only a matter of time before Bordeaux wine became popular among nobility around the globe.