The historic Bordeaux region of South-West France has long been recognized as one of the principal viticultural centres of the world. One of the secrets of its success is due to the fact that it is split into several characterful appellations, each governed by rules which aim to make the most of the specific advantages of their terroir. One of the newest appellations is Pessac-Leognan, which was cordoned off from the famous sub-region of Graves in 1987, due to the merits of the fascinating and unique white and red wines which are produced there. Pessac-Leognan is widely regarded as having the finest soil in all of Bordeaux - a large presence of gravel allows the grapes to take on mineral qualities and a finesse which is highly celebrated by lovers of superb Bordeaux wine.
Those deep, gravelly soils allow for excellent drainage - perfect conditions for the cultivation of high quality Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc varietal grapes, which are blended to produce the exquisitely rounded and age-worthy wines typical of Chateaus such as Haut-Brion and Pape Clement. The white wines produced in Pessac-Leognan are made from Sauvignon-Blanc and Semillon grapes, and are typically aged in oak to bring forward the complexities and depth of flavor these varietals are capable of presenting in the bottle.
France is widely known as being the home of many of the world's finest white wines, and within France, the name which rings out across the wine world and is always associated with excellence of quality and flavor is Bordeaux. The white wines of the magnificent Bordeaux region are typically blended, and rely on the winemaker's skill and expertise to achieve the fine balance between the primary grape varietals used. Most blended white Bordeaux wines are made up of Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon and Muscadelle varietals, although there are actually nine grapes officially allowed by French wine law for the inclusion in Bordeaux white wines. The other six are Sauvignon Gris, Merlot Blanc, Ugni Blanc, Colombard, Ondenc and Mauzac, although the use of these other grapes has been in steady decline over the past century.