Sauternes appellation locates near the municipality of Langon, 40 km far from the Bordeaux city in southeast direction and in the southern end of the Graves wine district. It is a large appellation with over 16 square kilometers of vineyards in the southern Graves.
Only sweet wines can be made within the Sauternes appellation; but dry white wines may be sold under the Graves label. The soil structure within the appellation varies widely: from limestone on the higher slopes (where the Crus Classés come from) to sand, clay, gravel and alluvial deposits.
Rolling hills and valleys are characteristic of this landscape. The cold water of both rivers provides cool morning dew followed by dry and sunny afternoons, perfect for the production of sweet wines. On the other hand, the Ciron river produces mist in the autumn, that falls on the area.
This condition is conducive to the growth of the fungus, which desiccates the grape and concentrates the sugar inside. The Sauternes appellation is famous for its intensely sweet white wines. In addition, the wines which are produced in the commune of Barsac are allowed to be labeled either with the commune name (as Barsac AOC) or with Sauternes. Barsac appellations with Sauternes appellation are the world-famous sweet wines of Bordeaux.
A part of important features of Sauternes appellation for sweet white wines are as follows:
- Soil: Pebbles and Gravel on limestone.
- Wine color of Sauternes is sweet white.
- Aromas: A complex, balanced bouquet with flowers and fruit.
- Taste: Full-bodied, powerful, but elegant, with an entrancing sweetness and exceptional aromatic finish
- Aging potential: 5 – 50 years.
- Serving temperature: 9 to 11° C