The Bordeaux wine region wide spreads 60 miles around the city and spans three rivers that contribute to the temperate, humid climate. Bordeaux is widely considered one of the great wine regions, an assertion reflected in the quality and pricing of Bordeaux wines. Bordeaux is most famous for red wines, but is also home to the exquisite dessert wine Sauternes. Five red grapes are approved for Bordeaux wine production: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petite Verdot. White wines, including Sauternes, may be made from Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Muscadelle.
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Though French wines are the highest valued wines in the world, esteemed wines from Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne were only enjoyed locally until 150 years ago when transportation improvements made them widely available. French wine production is governed by a strict quality-control system, which regulates the grapes used in each region and classifies wineries according to an elaborate cru hierarchy. Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah and Sauvignon Blanc are just a few of the important grape varietals with roots in French soil.
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