Haut-Medoc is an appellation located on the left bank of the Gironde estuary north of the city of Bordeaux. It stretches some 37 miles north from the city limits until it reaches the Medoc appellation (formerly known as Bas Medoc). Within this stretch are numerous sub-appellations that are the most coveted in all of Bordeaux, including Margaux, Pauillac, Saint-Estephe, and Saint-Julien.

Thus, Haut-Medoc serves as a sort of catch-all for those estates in the region that fall outside of the more precise appellations. Cabernet Sauvignon is king in the Haut-Medoc and accounts for 52% of vineyard plantings while typically forming the majority of blends. Given that this is a large geographical area, generalizations as to terrain are difficult and quality typically depends more on the individual producer.

There are 242 individual producers bottling Haut-Medoc and of those roughly 20 are categorized as Cru Bourgeois with another five designated Cru Classes. The Haut-Medoc Cru Bourgeois estates in particular can provide some of the most striking values in all of Bordeaux. (Wine/Appellations)