Sauternes AOC



  • a famous appellation in the graves district of the Bordeaux region of southwestern France that produces some of the best sweet white wines in the world. It grows mostly Sémillon grapes and a little Sauvignon Blanc. Its climatic conditions are conducive to infection of the grapes with the Botrytis cinerea fungus, which adds more flavour and complexity to the finished wines. This may be late in the season, or not at all, or patchily, and the best wine is produced by the growers who give the greatest attention to the grapes’ development and often by those who take the greatest risk in not picking the grapes. If the weather does not allow the grapes to ripen fully, the estates often use them to produce a dry white wine. The châteaux in the region were graded in the classification of 1855, with the best estate, château d’Yquem, in a class of its own, called premier grand cru, 11 premiers crus (first growths) and 15 deuxièmes crus (second growths).