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Bordeaux vs. Napa: What Is the Best Wine Region in the World?

It's a battle between the old and new world.

Bordeaux-vs-Napa Shuttterstock/John Bedell

In 1976, the Judgment of Paris shocked the wine world. In a blind tasting, an all-French panel of experts rated a California Cabernet above four top Bordeaux, elevating Napa from backwater to world class. We’ve created a rematch of sorts to see how these legendary regions stack up against each other now. In terms of size, Napa plays David to Bordeaux’s Goliath, but it shows New World wine can more than stand up to the Old.

 

 

Bordeaux

Bordeaux Winery

Napa

Beautiful view of the Domaine Carneros Winery and Vineyard in Napa Valley.

WHICH MADE WINE FIRST?

1st century A.D.
(Château Latour may go back to the early 1300s)

WHICH MADE WINE FIRST?

1861
(Charles Krug founded)

NUMBER OF PRODUCERS

6,100 châteaux

NUMBER OF PRODUCERS

475 physical wineries producing 1,000 brands

VISITORS PER YEAR

6.8 million

VISITORS PER YEAR

3.85 million

MOST EXPENSIVE BOTTLE EVER SOLD

$304,375
(1947 Château Cheval Blanc)

1947 Château Cheval Blanc

MOST EXPENSIVE BOTTLE EVER SOLD

$500,000
(1992 Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon)

1992 Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon

ENOUGH VINES TO COVER

Nashville, TN
(287,000 acres of vineyards)

ENOUGH VINES TO COVER

Plano, TX
(46,000 acres of vineyards)

PERCENTAGE OF THE WORLD’S WINE PRODUCTION

2.6

Château Lafite Rothschild

PERCENTAGE OF THE WORLD’S WINE PRODUCTION

0.4

The Beringer Winery

GENERATIONS ONE FAMILY HAS BEEN IN THE GAME

9
(the Boivert family,
at Château Les Ormes Sorbet)

GENERATIONS ONE FAMILY HAS BEEN IN THE GAME

5
(the Niebaum/Daniel/Lail family,
from Inglenook Vineyards to Lail Vineyards today)

DIRTY LITTLE SECRET

Beware the fraudsters: It’s said that more 1945 Bordeaux
has been sold than was ever made that year

DIRTY LITTLE SECRET

Twenty-five percent of the wine in a bottle can be sourced
from outside the region and still be considered to be from Napa

DOMINANT GRAPE

Merlot, surprisingly, is 66 percent of the red grapes grown

Dark grapes, Isolated on white background; Shutterstock ID 299697119; Notes: duel

DOMINANT GRAPE

Cabernet Sauvignon, with 40 percent of the region’s production

Black and green grapes isolated on a white background. The pattern of grapes of different varieties, top view. Food background.; Shutterstock ID 1072452311; Notes: Duel

BIGGEST SCANDAL

In 1985, Christie’s sold a bottle marked “Th. J.” Twenty years later,
Bill Koch, who had bought several other so-called “Jefferson
bottles” catapulted the cache into an uproar of fraud suspicion.

BILL KOCH LOUIS VUITTON JUBILEE AMERICAS CUP BALL, OSBORNE HOUSE, ISLE OF WIGHT, BRITAIN - 23 AUG 2001

BIGGEST SCANDAL

After famously coming to blows with his brother, Peter, Robert
Mondavi was exiled from the family’s Charles Krug operation and
went on to found his eponymous winery.

Robert Mondavi

BOTTLES PRODUCED EACH YEAR

960,000,000
(enough to fill 288 Olympic-size swimming pools)

BOTTLES PRODUCED EACH YEAR

115,680,000
(enough to fill about 35 Olympic-size swimming pools)

Wine Pool

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