is an important wine region in terms of both quality and quantity. The town is renowned as much for its beautiful buildings and scenery as for its wine. There are vineyards around Saint-Emilion since Roman times.
Some of the most prestigious and most expensive wines in the world are made here; Chateaux Cheval Blanc, Ausone, Angelus, Figeac and Pavie.
Unlike the wines of the Medoc (which focus on Cabernet Sauvignon), Saint-Emilion wines are predominantly made from Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The other traditional Bordeaux varieties (Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere, Petit Verdot and Malbec) are permitted for use here but are rarely used to any significant extent. The reason for that is, the clay- and chalk-rich soils around Saint-Emilion are generally cooler than those on the Medoc peninsula, so they're less capable of ripening Cabernet Sauvignon reliably. Merlot makes up the majority (about 65%) of vines planted around Saint-Emilion.
Saint-Emilion continues to increase in popularity because of the softer, more approachable, less tannic and astringent wine styles it produces compared to right bank Bordeaux appellations.