World Wine Capital
With its 7,000 châteaux, the largest Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée vineyard in France, 23 bottles of its wine sold every second in the world and its prestigious Grands Crus Classés, Bordeaux is indisputably the world capital of wine.
Situated on the 45th parallel north and close to the Atlantic Ocean, the characteristics of the region are exceptional for the cultivation of vines. It was during the Roman Empire that the first vines were planted around Bordeaux, known at the time as Burdigala. However, it was not until the 12th century that wine production experienced a considerable boom, thanks to international trade with England in particular and then later, in the 17th century, with the countries of Northern Europe. The importance of Bordeaux’s port – the famous Port of the Moon - also drew attention to the wines of this area, enabling their export around the world in the 18th century. In the 19th century, the Paris Exposition and the 1855 classification of the Grands Crus Classés gave visibility and world renown to the region's best wines.
From a technical point of view, Bordeaux is historically a pioneer of development in the wine industry. A symbol of these discoveries, the famous "bouillie bordelaise" or Bordeaux mixture, has been used since the 19th century to fight against mildew - a disease that devastates vineyards all over the world. In the 20th century, Bordeaux saw the birth of modern oenology, thanks to the work of Emile Peynaud and Pascal Ribéreau-Gayon, whose studies are still used today to understand and teach oenology throughout the world.
Epicentre of culture and gastronomy
In recent years, Bordeaux has added to its architectural and wine-growing heritage and has also become an epicentre of French culture and gastronomy.
With its 1600 restaurants, Bordeaux has the highest number of restaurants per inhabitant of any French city. Some internationally renowned Michelin-starred chefs, such as Pierre Gagnaire, Philippe Etchebest and Gordon Ramsay have even settled here. You’ll discover all kinds of cuisine, specialities and traditions in Bordeaux. From Michelin-starred restaurant to the various brasseries, gastronomy in Bordeaux has something to delight every palate, even the most discerning.
The number one item in the city’s budget, with an investment of €330 per year per inhabitant, culture is an integral part of Bordeaux life. With its national opera, 12 different themed museums, 15 annual festivals of international reach, its 37 concert halls and concert cafés, not forgetting its numerous sports facilities, Bordeaux is bursting with energy, excitement and life.