The soil is rich in gravel deposits, pebbles that have been rolled by the Garonne River for nearly 2 million years, and offers the vines natural drainage. The vines benefit from a favourable climate influenced by the ocean, while being protected by the Landes forest. A rare viticultural potential. Yet the AOC was only recognised in 1987, a latecomer if you trace its success back to the 1855 Classification, as the wines are known for their consistent quality. Nestled close to Bordeaux, almost in an urban area, foot to foot against the suffocation of housing and industry on about 1400 ha of vines, the appellation seems landlocked. This does not prevent it from being home to one of the most famous French crus: Château Haut-Brion. It was also the first Bordeaux wine to seduce the English in the 17th century, the "New French Claret". Pessac-Léognan is the only Cru Classé in Graves. The appellation has 68 chateaux and shines by its production composed of 80% of red wines. White wines are made from Sauvignon, sometimes combined with Sémillon. Muscadelle and Sauvignon Gris are authorised. These wines constitute a sort of elite of Graves wines from no less remarkable estates: Château Smith Haut Lafitte, Domaine de Chevalier, Château Larrivet Haut-Brion, Château Pape Clément.