The renowned St Emilion wine makers are situated in a Bordeaux wine region. What is unusual about its history is its Roman era lineage. There is a nicely maintained medieval village near the vineyards. Together the area was awarded a World Heritage designation from UNESCO in 1999.
There is an ancient hermitage around which the village developed. The hermitage was established by a monk. The village and the appellation bear his name. The beautiful landscape of this area has predominant cliffs carved from limestone. The rocky terrain here gives a distinguishing trait to each vintage. There are mainly four types of terrain on which the grapes are grown.
Most well known results come from limestone slopes over clay located closest to the village. More generic wines are made from the alluvial sand on the lower plain by the banks of the Dordogne River. The plateau west of the local government, near the Pomerol; is constituted of aeolian sand. This is also the site of fine examples of the appellation. Further west are acres of gravel, the site of exceptional properties like the Chateau Figeac and Chateau Cheval Blanc. Both chateaux use a high proportion of cabernet franc. Figeac additionally includes up to 35 percent of cabernet sauvignon and is renowned as one of the most fragrant wines of the Bordeaux region. For this reason it is also considered the most Medoc of this appellation.
The quick developing merlot is main grape used in this area. The cool climate produces a superior merlot hard to match in warmer regions. Heat ripens the grapes more quickly and produces an inferior result. When the ripening process is slowed, the quality of the product is improved. This is why more discriminating palates prefer the producers of this area.
Chateaus Canon, Angelus, Clos Fourtet and Cheval Blanc are some famous producers. Their wines are made in one of the smaller subregions. The average size of vineyards is five hectares. About 2,000 producers are located in just 14,000 acres on eastern side of the River Dordogne. If you are looking for a budget friendly example, smaller properties have pleasing offerings. But, it is important to know vintage differences and their producers.
The wine makers had a landmark month in September 2012. This was the month the classifications were announced. As wine aficionados know, producer rankings are revised every ten years. This means things may get contentious. This time less vintners were left unhappy in the top category than under the previous classification announced in 2006. Demoted producers sued and the 2006 classification was declared invalid.
Six years after lawsuits were filed, the Institut regulating appellations in France announced the new ranking. This time, all but one of the top chateaux that were demoted qualified. Only the Chateau La Tour du Pin Figeac was left out in the cold. In total, 82 were awarded either the Premier Grand Cru Classe or Grand Cru Classe ranks. This was the biggest amount since 1969, when 84 won either of these top designations. The major change on top was first time inclusion of the Chateaus Pavie and Angelus in Premier Grand Cru Classe A estates. La Mondotte, Larcis Ducasse, Valandraud and Canon La Gaffelier were also promoted to this rank.
To coincide with the Vinexpo wine fair in Bordeaux, a dinner is arranged every two years by the association of the leading estates. Old and new vintages from each member is served with meals put together by well regarded chefs. You can also visit anytime. The vintners are happy to receive visitors. The prudent thing to do is to call before your visit to any St Emilion wine making property.
Find phenomenal options in St Emilion wine by visiting www.chateaugodeau.com today. To find out more about the history of the region, click the links at http://www.chateaugodeau.com now.
Author: Celia HallThis author has published 202 articles so far.