The Bordeaux region is split up into appellations which set the criteria for wine producers and stipulate various rules, for instance, the type of grape varieties that can be grown there.

The Graves is famous for both its reds and whites, while Pauillac is famous for reds and is home to three of the five First Growths in the 1855 classification. The most famous of these appellations will be carved in the memories of wine lovers: Margaux. Château Margaux is the only First Growth with the same name as the appellation.

Pauillac, St. Estephe and St. Julien are on the left bank and Pomerol and St Emilion are on the right bank. The Graves is the oldest of all the most famous wine-producing regions in Bordeaux, and predated the draining of the swamp that was later to become the Médoc (a phrase that has taken on a whole new meaning recently).

In 1987 the Graves region was split into two sub-appellations, Pessac Leognan (which houses the classed growths, including First Growth Haut Brion) and which includes now urbanized areas, and the more rural and less-developed Graves, where Château Mitaud is located.

If you visit Haut Brion (which we highly recommend), it is somewhat dissonant to see this island of viticulture in the midst of urban sprawl.