Winemaking Tips from Bordeaux

Bordeaux. The mere mention of the name conjures up images of centuries-old chateaus, pristine vineyards and superlative wines that have set the highest standards the world over. Bordeaux wine styles are the dreams, the ultimate goal of Cabernet and/or Merlot winemakers everywhere. Whether the wines are called Cabernet–Merlot blends, Meritage, or simply Bordeaux-style blends, the styles from this region of France are the most copied. I confess that I first started out as a Bordeaux wine lover a long time ago; it was the inspiration behind my home winemaking book Techniques in Home Winemaking. Over the years, I have come to love many other styles and types of wines, but last fall, I wanted to rekindle this first love and visit and discover the region; I had never been. So my wife and I embarked on a seven-day trip to Bordeaux to get acquainted with this French region, its wineries, its food and its culture. The end of October was the perfect time right after harvest allowing wineries to host us. The warm days and cool evenings were just perfect