The district known as Medoc, the most famous red wine district of Bordeaux, stretches northwest along the Left Bank of the Gironde River from the city of Bordeaux for more than 50 miles. The Haut-Medoc is located on higher ground, and is where the greatest wines are found. The so-called Bas-Medoc, (permitted to bear the appellation Medoc), is situated near the mouth of the Gironde, and is home to more simple wines.
The topography of Medoc is very flat, with warm, well-drained gravelly soils. The Haut-Medoc boasts some of the most famous wine communes including St-Estephe, St-Julien, Pauillac, Margaux (where classed growths are concentrated), and the slightly less-known Moulis and Listrac. Cabernet Sauvignon is king in Medoc, with additional plantings of the other Bordeaux red varieties Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec.