Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Médoc, the most famous red wine district in Bordeaux, and possibly the world. The Médoc stretches north west from the city of Bordeaux along the left bank of the Gironde estuary, a virtually monocultural strip of flat, unremarkable land sandwiched between the palus, or coastal marshes, and the pine forests which extend for miles south into the Landes. The vineyard strip is about 5 to 12 km/3 to 8 miles wide, and runs northwards, with various intermissions for scrub, pasture, polder, and river bank, more than 70 km/50 miles from the northern suburbs of Bordeaux to the marshes of the lower, more northerly part of the Médoc, the so-called Bas-Médoc (see map under bordeaux). Wines produced in the Bas-Médoc use the Médoc appellation, while those on the higher ground in the south eastern section are entitled to the Haut-Médoc appellation, although many of them qualify for the smarter individual village, or communal, appellations. From south to north, these are margaux, moulis, listrac, st-julien, pauillac, and st-estèphe.