Situated to the south of the city of Bordeaux, the large Graves AOC stretches for 37 miles along the left bank of the Garonne. It is one of the oldest wine regions in Bordeaux. With two-thirds of the production being red wine, it is an appellation known for a profile of vivid fruit, silky texture, and hints of violet. The red wines of Graves are generally ready to drink within three to four years of bottling.
Within an area of Graves closest to the city of Bordeaux sits Pessac-Léognan AOC. Introduced in 1987, this appellation covers the best 10 communes of Graves AOC including all 14 cru classés. Both Graves and Pessac-Léognan see higher temperatures and higher rainfall than the rest of Bordeaux and thus their fruit tends to ripen earlier. There is a wide array of soil types from peyrosol gravel and sand to clay planosols and limestone, which explains why both high quality red and dry whites can be produced. The former tend to be close to an equal blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, often cited as being balanced and rich but drinkable when young. The dry whites must see its Semillon blended with at least 25% Sauvignon Blanc and the best examples are serious and age worthy.