Red AOC Entre-deux-Mers Set to Launch in 2023

With the 2023 vintage, the Bordeaux AOC is embracing red wine. Paul Kern is at the scene.

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AOC Entre-deux-Mers includes red wine from 2023 (Photo: FreeProd/
AOC Entre-deux-Mers includes red wine from 2023 (Photo: FreeProd/

The long-awaited revision was confirmed by the French National Institute of Origin and Quality (INAO) in the spring of 2023: The AOC Entre-deux-Mers, previously known solely for its white wines, will now include red wines in its repertoire.

Approved grape varieties for the red wines include the Bordeaux selections of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec, and Petit Verdot. Caménère is permitted in blends, but its contribution must not exceed 30%. In contrast to generic Bordeaux wines, the use of wood chips is prohibited, and stricter guidelines dictate a minimum planting density of 4,500 vines per hectare. Currently, only 5,700 hectares meet this requirement, representing approximately one-third of the red wine vineyards in Entre-deux-Mers.

The maximum yield allowed for future red wine production is set at 8,500 kilograms per hectare, slightly lower than the 9,500 kilograms permitted for AOC Bordeaux wines. Machine harvesting, in line with the practices for AOC Bordeaux and white wines from Entre-deux-Mers, is also permitted for the new red wines.


Robert Joseph looks beyond the financially attractive top Grands Crus Classés, at the far less successful mass of Bordeaux and its sub-appellations where large swathes of vines are due to be uprooted.

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Correcting past oversights

"We are correcting a mistake from the past and finally allowing two wines from the same region to bear the same appellation," says Jacques Lurton, Vice-President of the Syndicat de l'AOC Entre-deux-Mers. While red wine covers more than two-thirds of the total 23,000-hectare area, it could only be marketed as AOC Bordeaux or AOC Bordeaux Supérieur until now.

According to the Bordeaux Wine Trade Council (CIVB) President Allan Sichel, tourism was also a significant driving force behind this decision, as he highlighted in an interview with the German wine trade magazine Weinwirtschaft: "It is difficult to explain to visitors that they are in Entre-deux-Mers, where red wine is produced, yet they cannot enjoy a red Entre-deux-Mers."

The expansion can be seen as part of a strategy to enhance the reputation of the entire sub-region and potentially increase prices, which currently seldom exceed €10. "While we don't dictate selling prices, the technical requirements for the red wines will make production more expensive, giving producers an incentive to position themselves at higher price points in the market. We also aim to further develop the style of our white wines, moving towards more premium and less simple, fruit-forward wines," defines Jacques Lurton as the objective.

For the debut vintage, the registration of vineyard areas, which must always be completed by March of the vintage year, has been finalized. Approximately 830 hectares have been registered for Entre-deux-Mers Rouge, representing about one-sixth of the potential area.



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