The history of Bordeaux wines dates back to the Roman era, when the Romans planted vineyards in the region and began producing wine. However, it was not until the 12th century that Bordeaux wines began to gain international recognition. During this time, the city of Bordeaux was an important port for trade, and wines from the region were exported to England and other parts of Europe. In the 18th century, Bordeaux wines reached new heights of fame and prestige.
The wines produced in the region during this time were known for their high quality and were considered some of the best in the world. This was due in part to the classification system that was established in 1855, which classified the wines of Bordeaux into five categories based on their quality and reputation.The classification system established in 1855 is still in use today and it's still considered a reference in the wine world.
The five categories are: First Growth (Premier Cru):
The highest category, which includes wines such as Château Lafite Rothschild and Château Margaux. Second Growth (Deuxième Cru):
The second highest category, which includes wines such as Château Mouton Rothschild and Château Rauzan-Ségla. Third Growth (Troisième Cru):
The third highest category, which includes wines such as Château Cantenac Brown and Château Kirwan. Fourth Growth (Quatrième Cru):
The fourth highest category, which includes wines such as Château Beychevelle and Château Duhart-Milon. Fifth Growth (Cinquième Cru):
The lowest category, which includes wines such as Château Haut-Bages-Libéral and Château Pouget.
During the 20th century, Bordeaux wines faced challenges such as phylloxera, a pest that devastated vineyards, and the two World Wars which made difficult to export the wines. However, the region adapted and continued to produce high-quality wines. In recent years, Bordeaux wines have seen a resurgence in popularity, with an increasing number of wine enthusiasts from around the world seeking out the region's wines. Today, Bordeaux is home to over 9,000 wine producers, producing a wide variety of wines, from the famous red blends to dry whites, sweet wines and sparkling wines.
In conclusion, the history of Bordeaux wines is a long and rich one, dating back to the Roman era. Throughout the centuries, the wines of Bordeaux have gained international recognition and prestige, and today, they are considered some of the best in the world. With a classification system that is still in use today and a wide variety of wines to choose from, Bordeaux continues to be an important region in the world of wine.