The Francs Côtes de Bordeaux
appellation is located about fifty kilometres northeast of Bordeaux. This is one of the smallest and the most eastern of the département, which was recognised as an AOC by the INAO in 1967.
The Francs Côtes de Bordeaux vineyards cover 525 hectares spread over 3 communes: Francs, Saint Cibard and Tayac. In the south, the soil is asteriated (fossil-rich) limestone covered with limestone molasses referred to as "Agen molasses" and the rest of the appellation is made up of limestone molasses referred to as "Fronsac molasses". Despite its predominantly eastern exposure, it enjoys excellent sunshine with low rainfall. The temperatures are lower in winter and higher in summer (by 2-3°C) than in the surrounding areas.
The grape varieties grown in the Francs Côtes de Bordeaux AOC are varied. For the reds, the Merlot predominates, as it does throughout the Libourne area, and represents about 50-60% of the plantings, after which come the Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon representing about 40-50%. As far as the whites are concerned, the Sémillon dominates with 60%, while the Muscadelle and Cabernet make up the rest of the plantings.
The Francs Côtes de Bordeaux appellation's annual production is 26,000 hl on average, i.e. 3.3 million bottles of the Francs Côtes de Bordeaux red AOC, and 144 hl, i.e. 19,000 bottles of the Francs Côtes de Bordeaux dry white AOC, and 50 hl, i.e. 8,000 bottles of the Francs Côtes de Bordeaux sweet white AOC.
More informations on the website of the wines of Francs Côtes de Bordeaux