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The communal appellation is the northern part of the Graves area (Bordeaux) and is named after the two main towns. It covers 1,300 hectares of vines in the communes of Cadaujac, Canéjan, Gradignan, Léognan, Martillac, Mérignac, Pessac, Saint-Médard-d'Eyrans, Talence and Villeneuve-d'Ornon. Before its classification as a separate appellation in 1987, which André Lurton successfully sought, the area was called Haut-Graves. Clairet was produced around the town of Pessac in the Middle Ages. The dry white wines from Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon are produced with barrel fermentation and oak ageing and are among the best in Bordeaux. The red wines are mainly blended from Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon with portions of Cabernet Franc and Malbec (Cot). These are the typical grape varieties of the Rive gauche (left bank). However, the cuvées in the vineyards are very different. In 1953 and 1959, 16 châteaux were classified as "Cru Classé des Graves" (at that time still in the sub-area Haut-Graves within Graves). See the list under Graves.

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