Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

French for gravelly terrain, and a term at one time used for many of Bordeaux’s wine districts, but now the name of one particular large region extending 50 km/30 miles south east of the city along the left bank of the river garonne (see map under bordeaux). Graves is Bordeaux’s only region famous for both its red and white wines, although its aristocratic, mineral-scented, Cabernet-dominated red wines are made in much greater quantity than its dry whites. In the early 1990s, about 1,800 ha/4,500 acres were planted with red wine grapes, while about 950 ha produced dry white Graves. By 2013 the areas were 2,520 and 752 ha respectively. Graves Supérieures is an aoc for sweet wines, to which 178 ha were dedicated in 2013, producing wines very similar to, but generally slightly drier and coarser than those from the enclave entitled to the cérons appellation.