Wine is so much more than just a label on the bottle or a liquid with different colors and tastes. Wine is influenced by the people and places, history and heritage and the regions where the grapes are grown.
Many countries produce numerous varieties of wine, but France stands out with its special species of grapes and delicious wine. The Bordeaux region – a producer of France’s famous Bordeaux red wine lies in the southern part of western France.
The Bordeaux region is located on the Atlantic coast across the Gironde estuary formed from meeting of the rivers Dordogne and Garonne which run through the heart of the region.
Most of Bordeaux’s great vineyards are near the Gironde or one of its swivels and such location influences in forming the world’s most famous wines together with climate.
Climate here is a maritime, with damp spring times, hot and fairly dry summers, mild winters and rainy autumns. The soil is quit infertile here and not much else but grapes can grow – but there are grapes and the ones which are known all over the world. That’s why Bordeaux is the second most visited city in France, after Paris.
There are about 7,375 different chateaus in the region and those 7,375 wineries and vineyards make more than 10,000 different Bordeaux wines every vintage.
Bordeaux has been one of the major port cities of France for centuries and has a tradition of about 2,000 years of wine making. Bordeaux is also known for its vast variety of cheese. The markets here are one of the biggest places to purchase organic cheese, meat and vegetables every day.
Local chef here, Jean Pierre is an often a guest of Capucins market – a place called the “stomach” of Bordeaux. Fresh products fill the shelves of the market every day and Jean Pierre visits the place twice a week, not just to purchase products for home, but to touch, smell, feel and taste the freshness.
“In every country, every city, you have to visit the market first, because it is the place where people meet, discuss, find friends and even become friends. This is a place of conviviality and friendship. This is place where the life starts.” – he said.
Yes, almost everything here is somehow linked to wine producing. Even the street artists draw grapes in their graffiti.
“I make a connection between the wine making world and the urban world because in reality they are activities that you can call similar. Yes, maybe they are different, but in process of creation, it’s similar. Wine is a work of artisans. The Grapes require a lot of care, attention and time and it’s little bit like street art – it takes years before reaching a style, interesting forms, and something specific. I had to work on wine labels and this was something that inspired me very quickly.” – local street artist said.
Being a major port city strongly influences on popularity of Bordeaux wine as it gave the local winemakers the opportunity to access different regions of the world. About 43 million bottles of Bordeaux wine are sold each year and 71% of them priced between 3 to 15 Euros. Very little amount of Bordeaux wine is sold for extremely high prices, depending on date of pour out and blended grapes. Bordeaux is the heart of a wine lover and the wine lover is always a special guest here.