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The Graves area in the Bordeaux region is an ancient wine region. The Romans planted vineyards here as early as the 1st century and the Roman author Columella (1st century AD) wrote enthusiastically about the wines that could age. Around 1300, the Archbishop of Bordeaux (later Pope Clement V) founded a winery which still exists today under the name of Château Pape-Clément. The fame of Bordeaux was co-founded by the wines from Graves. At the end of the 19th century, the area under vines was still about 10,000 hectares, but in the last hundred years many vineyards were lost due to the growth of the city of Bordeaux. But even today, Graves still covers the city area (the Châteaux Haut-Brion, La Mission and Les Carmes are located in a suburb). The vineyards extend 50 kilometres south from Bordeaux and cover around 4,650 hectares, of which the regional appellation Graves covers around 3,000 hectares. The three appellations Barsac, Cérons and Sauternes are embedded in the south as enclaves. The area to the north, formerly known as Haut-Graves, where all the better châteaux are located, became the Pessac-Léognan appellation in 1987.

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