First classed as an AOC area in 1937, Montravel is located west of Bergerac and east of Bordeaux, at the boundary of the Dordogne and Gironde départements. The climate here is maritime and more extreme than other areas closer to the influence of the Atlantic.
As in nearby Monbazillac, Montravel has a long tradition of sweet wine-making. Wines have been made in this region since the 13th century and its whites are said to have been a favourite of the ground-breaking French essayist Michel de Montaigne.
The main grape variety in all three appellations is Sémillon, usually blended with Sauvignon Blanc and occasionally with Muscadelle.
In 2001 the appellation was extended to allow red wines made from Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Malbec.