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Bumgarner Winery


Wine ~ Travel ~ Tour

Taste of Bordeaux River Cruise

Bordeaux City Tour and Cruise: July 2-11, 2024

7-Night Cruise Only: July 4-11, 2024

Our Bumgarner July 2024 Bordeaux cruise group is already 38 strong. There is still room aboard the AmaDolce if you would like to join us.  Many of you have asked about the wines of the Bordeaux region.  Here’s a useful summary:

Bordeaux Wines – A Quick Summary

This is arguably the most famous wine region in the world.  Bordeaux is also a generic term for wine from the Bordeaux region.  This wines from this area of southwestern France were prized 2,000 years ago within the Roman Empire, coveted as far away as Lebanon and Egypt.  Here's a useful guide to the wines of Bordeaux:

What’s a Bordeaux Wine?

A Bordeaux wine consists of any wine created within the Bordeaux region, regardless of the grape varietal.  The wine can be white, rosé or red. The most famous Bordeaux wines are red wines, usually a mixture of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, with a touch of Cabernet Franc or Petit Verdot.  Bordeaux whites typically blend Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc. 


The wines of Bordeaux are some of the world's best and most complex wines.  Winemakers here have been creating exceptional wine for centuries. The area’s rich and diverse geographic footprint was formed by the Ice Age (soil ground up, shifted and compacted), leaving a perfect type of gravelly soil.  Combine that special soil with an ideal climate, a variety of water sources and “Voila!”  Bordeaux wines came to prominence in the 17th century, but the Romans (who had everything to do with wine across Europe) started it all here over 2,000 years ago. 

Soil, Water and Climate

The Ice Age left Bordeaux with soil heavy with limestone and calcium.  For growing wine grapes, Bordeaux's success can largely be linked to this incredible soil structure.  A variety of clay (hardpan), limestone, gravel and siliceous soil makes up this diverse yet geographically perfect landscape.

Two major rivers (the Garonne and Dordogne) run through the center of Bordeaux, both fed by an array of tributaries. This incredible watershed---along with ample groundwater---makes the Bordeaux countryside perfect for winemaking. Sitting close to the coast, Bordeaux benefits from an 'Atlantic Climate' with moist winds, warm days and cool nights.

The Region and Styles

Bordeaux has some 60 appellations and six major wine styles:

Red Bordeaux / Bordeaux Superieur
Red Côtes de Bordeaux
Right Bank (Libourne, Bourg and Blaye)
Left Bank (Graves and Médoc)
Dry White Wines
Sweet White Wines (Sauterne)

Bordeaux Red Varietals

Around 90% of Bordeaux grapes are red. Virtually all come from just 3 grape varieties: Merlot (65%), Cabernet Sauvignon (23%) and Cabernet Franc (10%). The remaining 2% percent are a combination of Malbec, Petite Verdot and Carmenere.

Bordeaux White Varietals

Comprising just 10% of grapes in the region, the majority of Bordeaux whites are a combination of: Semillon (49%), Sauvignon Blanc (43%) and Muscadelle (6%). Colombard, Chenin Blanc and 5 other varietals are grown and used to make more affordable bulk Bordeaux whites.

Price points vary dramatically for Bordeaux wines, ranging from $5 all the way up to $10,000 for a particularly rare vintage and wine producer like Petrus or Lafite-Rothschild.  Try sampling a decent quality Bordeaux in the $15-25 range.  If you like one particular style more than others, spend a little more to acquire better quality Bordeaux wines for your cellar.

Factually Speaking…

728 million bottles of Bordeaux are produced each year
Yearly wine production is valued at $4.3 billion
A staggering 42% of Bordeaux wine is exported
23 bottles of Bordeaux wine are sold every second throughout the world
China imports more Bordeaux than any other country


There is a limited time booking discount of up to $500 per cabin ($250 per person) for members of the Bumgarner Winery members. Book by January 31st.  This dedicated website displays the entire tour and cruise program, including pictures of cabins, pricing and each day’s activities. For complete information and to register, visit:


If you have additional questions after viewing the website, contact Heather McLemore at Expanding Horizons:

Heather@expanding-horizons.com Tel: 1-714-975-8167

NOTE: Special events are included. You must book through our tour operator Expanding Horizons of Tustin, CA to be part of the Bumgarner Winery Bordeaux Group.

Feel free to recommend this special holiday to any friends or relations who will enjoy this kind of vacation focused on culture, fine food and wine.

We look forward to seeing you in France!

Brian & Jennifer Bumgarner, Proprietors




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