The vine was introduced to the Bordeaux region by the Romans, probably in the mid-1st century, to provide wine for local consumption, and wine production has been continuous in the region since then.
Bordeaux now has about 116,160 hectares (287,000 acres) of vineyards, 57 appellations, 10,000 wine-producing châteaux and 13,000 grape growers. With an annual production of approximately 960 million bottles, Bordeaux produces large quantities of everyday wine as well as some of the most expensive wines in the world. Included among the latter are the area's five premier cru (first growth) red wines (four from Médoc and one, Château Haut-Brion, from Graves), established by the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855: The first growths are:Château Lafite-Rothschild Château Margaux Château Latour Château Haut-Brion Château Mouton-Rothschild*
*In 1855 Mouton-Rothschild was ranked a Second Growth. In 1973, it was elevated to First Growth status.
Both red and white wines are made in Bordeaux. Red Bordeaux is called claret in the United Kingdom. Red wines are generally made from a blend of grapes, and may be made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit verdot, Malbec, and, less commonly in recent years, Carménère. White Bordeaux is made from Sauvignon blanc, Sémillon, and Muscadelle. Sauternes is a subregion of Graves known for its intensely sweet, white, dessert wines such as Château d'Yquem.
Because of a wine glut (wine lake) in the generic production, the price squeeze induced by an increasingly strong international competition, and vine pull schemes, the number of growers has recently dropped from 14,000 and the area under vine has also decreased significantly. In the meanwhile however, the global demand for the first growths and the most famous labels markedly increased and their prices skyrocketed.Others
The Laser Mégajoule will be one of the most powerful lasers in the world, allowing fundamental research and the development of the laser and plasma technologies. This project, carried by the French Ministry of Defence, involves an investment of 2 billion euros. The "Road of the lasers", a major project of regional planning, promotes regional investment in optical and laser related industries leading to the Bordeaux area having the most important concentration of optical and laser expertise in Europe.
20,000 people work for the aeronautic industry in Bordeaux. The city has some of the biggest companies including Dassault, EADS Sogerma, Snecma, Thales, SNPE, and others. The Dassault Falcon private jets are built there as well as the military aircraft Rafale and Mirage 2000, the Airbus A380 cockpit, the boosters of Ariane 5, and the M51 SLBM missile.
Tourism, especially wine tourism, is a major industry.
Access to the port from the Atlantic is via the Gironde estuary. Almost 9 million tons of goods arrive and leave each year.Major companies
(This list includes indigenous Bordeaux-based companies and companies that have major presence in Bordeaux, but are not necessarily headquartered there.)Arena CDiscount Dassault EADS composites EADS Sogerma EADS Space Transportation Ford Motor Company Lectra LU Marie Brizard McKesson Corporation Oxbow Ricard Sanofi Aventis Smurfit Kappa SNECMA SNPE Solectron Thales Group William Pitters