Bordeaux Left and Right

Have you ever read something and asked yourself, “What the ____ did I just read?” I found this happening to me at least 100 times today. No lies. The WSET 3 textbook is drier than a salted cracker.

Anyways, I did retain a few things today (yay me!). I’m catching up on the France section and I’m reading about Bordeaux. I found it the most interesting so far, maybe because the region’s a marketing powerhouse and marketing is what I do in my day job. I promise a post on that at a later date, but today, it’s intro to right versus left.

Bordeaux is divided into the left, right and middle.

Bordeaux wine map

The inset shows where Bordeaux is in France. Map from Wikipedia Commons.

See the Garonne River at the bottom? The area where the vineyards lie west of this river and south of the Gironde estuary is called the Left Bank. They include the districts Medoc, Graves and Sauternes.

See the river immediately north of the Garonne? That’s the Dordogne River and vineyards north of this river is in an area called the Right Bank. When someone mentions the Right Bank, they’re referring to Saint-Emilion and/or Pomerol.

Grand Cru Classe Bordeaux

Right Bank, Left Bank, Left Bank

The area in between the two rivers? That’s Entre-Deux-Mers. Just remember, it literally means “between two seas.”

So, what’s the difference between right and left bank? In the case of red wines, the Right Bank is mostly Merlot and the Left Bank is mostly Cabernet Sauvignon.

Let me get back to you about Entre-Deux-Mers tomorrow. Time for bed now as midnight is just a minute away!

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