Year in, year out, France enjoys its prestigious reputation as the producer of the finest wines in the world. With a wine making history which spans several thousand years and owes its expertise to the Romans, it comes as little surprise that this most highly esteemed of the Old World wine countries continues to impress and enchant both novices and experts to this day. Despite the rise in quality of wines from neighboring European countries, not to mention the New World, the French wine industry continues to boom, with up to eight billion bottles being produced in recent years. However, France prides itself on always putting quality before quantity, and the wide range in fine produce is a testament to the dedication and knowledge of the wineries across the country. Indeed, from rich and complex reds to light and aromatic white wines, French wines are as varied and interesting as they are enjoyable to drink, making this country a firm favorite for wine lovers across the globe.
From a rather featureless block of vineyards northeast of the town of Libourne and the district of St-Emilion, comes some of the world's most exciting Merlot-based wines. The properties may be small, some less than an acre, but the wines are remarkable. Some of the more westerly estates are on sandy soil, but at the heart of Pomerol, it is thick clay, with an underpinning of iron and minerals, that produce the classic wines of Petrus, Trontanoy, Le Pin, Certan-de-May and Latour-Pomerol. An adjacent district is Lalande-de-Pomerol, producing wines with a touch of Pomerol's rich and concentrated yet accessible style.