Last week, we covered the dawn of Bordeaux, leading up to the Hundred Year’s War. Today, we take a look outside of France to gain more context on how trade routes and draining water-entrenched land gave way to increased wine production and, in turn, Bordeaux’s rise to fine-wine fame.
This chapter begins in the Netherlands in the 13th century when the Dutch entered into an alliance with German merchants called the Hanseatic League, which allowed merchants to protect mutual trading interests. Given the Netherlands’ reach to other nations via the North Sea, the Dutch quickly became one of the biggest forces in overseas trading for the wine region. By 1678, they were conducting more trade through Bordeaux than the entirety of England.
In the late 17th century, when Dutch immigrants started to settle in France, they made the groundbreaking decision to drain the floodlands of the Médoc. Beneath the waters of the Médoc was distinctly gravelly soil, and winemakers quickly realized the positive impact this soil would have on their wines. The maisons surrounding this land, including Château Margaux and Château Lafite, eventually became the great estates of Bordeaux’s Left Bank. It was these events that would eventually culminate in the 1855 classification of Bordeaux. But more on that next week.
On this episode of “Wine 101,” Keith continues telling the tale of Bordeaux and how it became the first fine-wine region in the world. Tune in for more.
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“Wine 101” was produced, recorded, and edited by yours truly, Keith Beavers, at the VinePair headquarters in New York City. I want to give a big old shout-out to co-founders Adam Teeter and Josh Malin for creating VinePair. Big shout-out to Danielle Grinberg, the art director of VinePair, for creating the most awesome logo for this podcast. Also, Darby Cicci for the theme song. And I want to thank the entire VinePair staff for helping me learn something new every day. See you next week.
*Image retrieved from laraslk via stock.adobe.com
The article Wine 101: Bordeaux: Part II The Dutch and the Médoc appeared first on VinePair.