appellation is on the left bank of the Garonne, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) upstream from the city of Bordeaux. One of the region's smallest appellations, Sauternes extends into five communes: Sauternes, Barsac, Preignac, Fargues, and Bommes. It is Bordeaux's most famous sweet wine, producing internationally adored nectars such as Château d'Yquem, Château Gilette, Château Doisy Daëne, Château Les Justices, Château Guiraud, Château Suduirant, and Château Clos Haut-Peyraguey.
The terroir of Sauternes harmoniously blends layers of silica, limestone, and gravel. The microclimate here, which promotes the development of noble rot, is the result of the Ciron (a tributary of the Garonne) bringing morning fog in the autumn that dissipates quickly when the sun comes out. The appellation covers almost 1,770 hectares (4,374 acres) of vineyards that produce up to 34,000 hectoliters of wine each year.
Sauternes is a blend heavily dominated by Sémillon, with Sauvignon and, occasionally, a dose of Muscadelle that brings a wild note to wines. The originality and great secret of Sauternes is to harvest grapes that have essentially been candied by Botrytis Cinerea, the “noble rot” that increases the wine's potential sugar. This noble rot develops gradually, requiring the harvester to pass through the vines several times, selecting only the most heavily affected grapes at each given moment. For this reason, the harvest here can last two months. Certain production regulations are legally imposed, such as hand harvesting and a maximum yield of 25 hectoliters per hectare. This limited yield, in combination with the effects of Botrytis, gives extremely rich, concentrated wines.
More informations on the website of the wines of Sauternes