The Sauternes wine growing area is located south of the Gironde, 30 km outside Bordeaux. It is an enclave in the gravel soil wine growing area which is crossed by the small Ciron river.
It combines the Sauternes and Barsac appellations and produces mainly sweet wines plus some dry white wines in the Graves or Bordeaux appellation and a few red wines in the Graves or Bordeaux appellation. It consists mainly of clay-limestone or calcareous subsoil with in some places more or less thick layers of gravel soil and also palus clays. The most prestigious classified Grand Crus are located on deep gravel ridges at the entrance of the city which protects them.
Semillon, Sauvignon and Muscadelle are allowed to be planted. The small river Cirons flowing from the Garonne, the “Noah’s ark” of biodiversity is the cradle of the oldest forest in France. It is this small and insignificant stream that nobody probably has ever heard of which enables the magic of the development of sweet wines. In the morning, during the harvest period, some morning fogs can develop due to heat exchange in these regions followed by sunny days. This is the most favourable context for the development of Botrytis Cinerea, noble rot. Damage grapes by botrytis will be brought back by successive sorting to the winery and vinified. These great sweet wines are the ones that age the best.