Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Pessac-Léognan, important bordeaux red and dry white wine appellation created in 1987 for the most celebrated part of the graves district immediately south of the city (and often still referred to as Graves). It takes its somewhat cumbersome name from its two vinously most important communes, and includes all of the properties named in the 1959 classification of Graves, and many other fine châteaux too. This is Bordeaux’s most urban wine area—indeed the vineyards of its most famous property Ch Haut-Brion and its neighbour and stablemate Ch La Mission-Haut-Brion are today surrounded by suburban development, including the campus of the University of bordeaux, on the boundary of the suburbs of Pessac and Talence. It is hardly surprising that Bordeaux’s earliest wine estates were developed here, although the wines of Chx haut-brion, la mission-haut-brion, and Pape-Clément justify the properties’ existence on grounds far more solid than mere geographical convenience. Further from the city, vineyards are carved out of the pine forests which extend south west into the Landes. In all, about 1,435 ha/3,544 acres of vineyard within Pessac-Léognan produce red wine, and the total area devoted to white wine grapes was almost 270 ha by the early 2010s.