Wines, châteaux and description of Canon Fronsac. Click on the château name to go to their website.
The Côtes de Bourg is on the right bank of the Garonne and Dordogne rivers, 35 km North of Bordeaux, and include 15 communes, all within the same administrative district. It is a quiet land of rolling hills and fantastic views, sometimes referred to as 'Little Switzerland'.
On a personal note, it was the first wine region of Bordeaux that I spent any considerable time in, and I developed a deep love of the area. I spent the plague lockdown of 2020 in Château La Grolet.
It is said the Romans planted the first Vitis biturica vines here in the 2nd century AD, and Bourg harbor was used to ship the local wine during the Middle Ages.
There are about 400 producers in the region, about two thirds of which are independent traditional family growers holding an average of 10 ha. One third of these growers belong to one of the following cooperatives: The Cave du Bourgeais in Gauriac, Alliance Bourg (Lansac, Pugnac, and Bourg-Tauriac), the Vignerons de Tutiac, Châteaux Solidaires.
The maximum authorised yield is 54 hl/ha and approximately 3,950 hectares are planted with red wine grape varieties producing 180,000 hl of wine a year, and 29 hectares with white wine grape varieties producing 1,200 hl of white wine a year. 85% of production is sold in France yet the export market is steadily increasing every year.
Red wine grape varieties include Merlot (65 %), Cabernet Sauvignon (20 %), Malbec (10 %), and Cabernet franc (5 %). White wine varieties include Sauvignon blanc (41 %), Colombard (23 %), Sémillon (23 %), Muscadelle (8 %),
and Sauvignon gris (5 %).
The Côtes de Bourg generally has about 10% more sunshine a year than the rest of Bordeaux and 10 to 25% less rain, with slightly less extreme temperature variability. The area has a limestone bedrock up to 20 metres thick which is covered by clay that becomes thinner as one goes eastward. River deposited red gravel from the Massif Central was deposited during the Pliocene Epoch.
There are three main soil types. The predominant one is sand and clay, the remains of a sublacustrian delta, on which Merlot and Cabernet do well. the second soil type is unique to the Côtes de Bourg and consists of soil on a Quaternary sil consisting of hydro-eolian silts deposited on rises during the Würm glaciation. They are sienna-red in colour and Merlot and Malbec do well in these soils, that allow for deep roots, although there is a lack of organic matter and low water retention. The third soil type is clay and limestone which comes from the rock Molasse du Fronsadais. Merlot is dominant in these soils, characterised by shallow roots and high water retention.
Château Les Cèdres
Château De Rider
In late 2020 the owner of Etalon Rouge in Blaye
and La Petite Cave wine bar, Leslie Kellen,
created a classification system for the
Blaye and Bourg appellations.
This is the first time the wines of this region have been ranked into five growths, with growth one being the best and descending with respect to quality.
Click on the link to see the full classification list.