Graves is the region which first established Bordeaux's reputation. Its
wines were exported to England as early as the 12th century and
Samuel Pepys drank Ho Bryan (sic) in London on 10th April,
The names Graves is derived from "gravel" and the best soils are gravel-rich
mixed with sand and occasionally clay. Graves is larger in areas than
the Médoc but produces only half the amount of wine. The best wines of
Graves were initially classified in 1953 with this classification being
confirmed in 1959.
Until 1987, this entire region, which runs immediately south of the city of
Bordeaux until it reaches Sauternes, was
known as the Graves and its entirety is still sometimes informally referred to
as such, but from the 1986 vintage a new communal district was created within
Graves, based on the districts of Pessac and Léognan, the first
of which lies within the suburbs of the city.
the best soils of the region, very similar to those of the Médoc, although the
depth of gravel is more variable, and contains all the classed growths of the
region. Some of its great names, including Ch. Haut-Brion, even sit
serenely and resolutely in Bordeaux's southern urban sprawl.
The climate is milder than to the north of the city and the harvest can
occur up to two weeks earlier. This gives the best wines a heady, rich
and almost savoury character, laced with notes of tobacco, spice and
leather. Further south, the soil is sandier with more clay, and the wines
are lighter, fruity and suitable for earlier drinking.
Ch. Haut-Brion, Ch. la Mission Haut-Brion, Ch. Pape Clément, Ch Haut-Bailly, Domaine de Chevalier, Ch. Larrivet-Haut-Brion, Ch.
Carmes Haut-Brion, Ch. La