[Image: © CIVB, 2012. Design: Siksik – Cartography. Édition Benoít France]

As I look at this map to the right, I realize how much farther I have to go to understand Bordeaux. I’ve written about the Left and Right banks; as we look at this map, we have much more to learn.

  • Left Bank
    • North-West
    • South-West
  • Right Bank
    • North-East
    • East
    • South-East

What separates each one within the Left and the Right regions, besides latitude?

~~~ Water, Water, Water ~~~

  1. Gironde Estuary
  2. Garonne River is on its western side, and is an extension of the Spanish Río Garona. This river is 357 miles long and is considered to be the most important river of southwestern France. Emanating from the Spanish central Pyrenees, it flows into the Atlantic Ocean by way of the Gironde Estuary.
  3. Dordogne River is on its eastern side, and is the third longest river in western France.

~~~ Water Influences ~~~

  1. For the Left Bank, it’s the city of Bordeaux itself.
    • North-West Bordeaux
      • The Atlantic’s Bay of Biscay is to its west
      • The Gironde Estuary is to its east in the north and central portions
      • The last fifth of the North-West has the Garonne to its east
    • South-West Bordeaux
      • Decidedly inland
      • Only the Garonne to its east
  2. For the Right Bank regions, it’s all about waterways being on its west side
    • North-East Bordeaux
      • Gironde Estuary is a large bay area on its west side
      • With the base being fed by the Dordogne
      • Closer to the Atlantic than the East and South-East regions
    • East Bordeaux
      • The Dordogne River is to its west
    • South-East Bordeaux
      • This region is inland
      • Garonne River is to its west

A Player From Each Region

My Research Experience: The Right Bank Wines Are Much Harder to Find

Winery descriptions have come from each winery’s Website:

Left Bank


  • Pauillac
  • Chateau Lynch-Bages
  • In the heart of the Médoc on the banks of the estuary, Pauillac (Gironde, France) has been the true birthplace of Grand Cru Classé wines since 1855. The Lynch-Bages vineyards are planted across 100 hectares in the region. Its enjoys a mild climate, homogeneous geology and a topography of well-defined outcrops in the South and South-West of the town. These factors all contribute to bringing Lynch-Bages’ soils their warmth and excellent natural drainage towards the river which ensures optimum water supply to the vines.



  • Pessac-Leognan
  • Domaine de Chevalier ~ C’est si bon
  • The Domaine de Chevalier is a clearing in the forest that protects it, a kind of secret garden away from the media circuits. It’s a little paradox of this excellence believed that rivals the greatest vintages of Bordeaux.
    “Only a great terroir can produce a great wine … When I present the Domaine de Chevalier, I like to start with these words. They express our deep philosophy, which is enshrined in the approach of the vineyard but also in the minds of men and women who work here, year after year refining their skills to what is essential to my eyes, ie equilibrium … “


Right Bank


  • Blaye
  • Chateau Montfollet Le Valentin
  • At the heart of the best soils of the appellation, this family owned 67 hectares of vineyards located on hillsides and red clay and limestone clays overlooking the Gironde estuary opposite the most prestigious wines of Margaux. It belongs to the Ramon family for three generations. Today, anxious to reveal the potential of these beautiful lands, while respecting the environment, Dominique Raimond, passionate winemaker, uses all the technical means to achieve the production of a great wine.
    • SOIL: Clay and gravel and clay-limestone on slopes facing south, southeast and southwest.



  • Pomerol
  • Vieux Chateau Certan
  • Covering 35 acres in one single block,  The Vieux Chateau Certan Vineyard is the fruit of a century of painstaking work and careful decision making.



  • Loupiac
  • Chateau Pontac
  • An exceptional vineyard : The Terroir is composed of graves in surface and clay and limestone in depth, which enables a typical blending from the Médoc, ideal for qualitative wines.  The vineyards are planted by 45% of Merlot, 40% of Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% of Cabernet Franc and 5% of Petit Verdot. The vineyard is running on a sustainable agriculture. The Château Pontac Lynch is one of the Medoc winegrowing estates using the least phytosanitaries, since 2010. The manually done harvest and a very selective sorting of the grapes are the key elements for a great elegant wine.



Wine Blog Bordeaux Series to Date

Credit to Millesima for originally inspiring me to learn about Bordeaux.