In the corner of southwestern France, the Garonne and Dordogne rivers merge together to form the Gironde Estuary – that naturally divides the famous Bordeaux region into Left and Right banks. Our Taste of Bordeaux itinerary takes you to experience the most impressive winegrowing areas and their signature blends.

Bordeaux is the largest controlled wine region in France, made up of several subregions. Each subregion has its own strictly governed appellation, unique climate, and terroir that define it. Unlike most wines around the world, the quality of Bordeaux wine is determined by these factors rather than the grape varietal. Producers combine many grape types together to create food-loving blends. While Bordeaux is acclaimed for its legendary red blends, the small percentage of white blends from this region also make a big impression. The left and right banks of the river have different soil types that bring these exceptional blends to life.

Left Bank – The flatter, gravelly lands of the left bank embrace the heat of the sun south of the Gironde, giving life to many rich blends and sweet white blends – like those of the Medoc and Sauternes regions.

Right Bank – The limestone and clay soils of the right bank are perfect for Merlot, the most popular grape used as a base for blends in Bordeaux. Prestigious appellations like Bourg and Saint Emilion produce some of the best Merlot based blends that are combined with Cabernet, and other grapes to achieve significant structure and supple fruit flavors.

Source: AMA Waterways