Saint-Émilion is famous for its vineyards that have become a UNESCO heritage site thanks to the attention of winemakers towards sustainable development aimed at preserving the territory and guaranteeing the quality of the wines.
Located 35 km from Bordeaux, Saint-Émilion is a small medieval French town famous for its vineyards located on the right bank of the Dordogne river. Thanks to a temperate and oceanic microclimate, characterized by reduced temperature changes, by evenly distributed rains during the year and by hot and dry summers, Saint-Émilion is an ideal place for the cultivation of vines.
The first to pay homage to the wines of this area was Louis XIV exclaiming "Saint-Émilion, nectar of the gods". Various aspects contribute to making these wines highly appreciated:
- the attention of winemakers towards sustainable development to preserve the environment and ensure quality. Thanks to the attention of the winemakers to their territory, in 1999 Saint-Émilion and its vineyards were listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, recognizing the perfect interaction between human work and the landscape;
- the exceptional variety of terroir on which the vineyards are grown;
- the wise fusion of the different vines. The three main varieties are Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Cultivated on clay soils, Merlot quickly fruits and gives the wines color, softness and spicy and fruity aromas, in particular red fruit: strawberry, black currant, blackberry, raspberry, black currant and even cherry. It lends itself very well to aging in barrels, from which it incorporates woody, spicy and vanilla aromas. The higher percentage of Merlot in the blend offers refined elegance that is not without simplicity.
Cultivated mostly on calcareous soils, Cabernet Franc matures about two weeks after Merlot. It gives the wine freshness, a slightly spicy aromatic delicacy, a very suggestive tannic structure and makes it well suited to aging.
Cultivated on hot and dry soils, such as sandy gravel, Cabernet Sauvignon is a late fruit grape variety that gives spicy and multilayer notes, strengthens tannins and improves the aging ability of the wine.
In 1948 the first inspection of the quality of the wine for tasting was introduced, which two years later, in 1950, led to a classification of the wines in the denomination area. In 1952 a set of classification rules was drawn up in agreement with the French National Institute of Appellations (INAO). And the classification was ratified in 1955. Since then the classification of Saint-Émilion wine has been done every ten years and this inspires all the winemakers of the Saint-Émilion denomination to support their search to produce unique wines. The latest classification was published on September 6, 2012.