The Entre Deux Mers wine region in Bordeaux is on the right bank of the Garonne River, opposite the Graves wine region. Bordeaux’s largest sub-region, it is a wedge of land between the great tidal rivers of the Garonne and Dordogne, before they join to form the mighty Gironde Estuary.

Vast tracts remain forested and the area is littered with the ruins of medieval castles, forts, monasteries and mills with only half the appellation’s land planted to vines.

According to Andre Lurton the name Entre Deux Mers is derived not from the French mer (sea) but from the Latin maree and means “between two tides”.  Both rivers have strong tidal bores with their waves rolling up river on the tide. The appellation includes nine designated communes: Entre Deux Mers, Premieres Cotes de Bordeaux, Sainte Croix du Mont, St. Macaire, Graves de Vayres, Sainte Foy Bordeaux, Loupiac and Cadillac.

Wine has been produced in the region since Gallo on land donated by Duke William VIII of Aquitaine. The abbey was situated on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela, along the path known as The way of Saint James and sometimes referred to as the Milky Way, a common medieval legend, this was said to refer to the dust stirred along its path by its many pilgrims and a play on the word Compostela, which translates as field of stars.  A century after its founding, the Abbey had 76 priories under its control across Europe and the wines had become popular throughout much of the Christian world. 

White wines from the region are labeled as Entre Deux Mers, whilst the reds are labeled as Bordeaux Superieur. The white wines are made primarily from Sauvignon Blanc with additions of Semillon and Muscadet; they are best consumed young to capture the youthful freshness floral, herbaceous and grassy aromatics and their crisp, bracing acidity on the palate. The reds are usually Merlot dominant with the addition of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc they are often fruit forward with subtle oak and soft, gentle tannins allowing for early drinking.

Whilst in the middle ages Entre Deux Mers might have once enjoyed the celestial status of its now more celebrated neighbours, in more modern times the region has carved out a reputation for producing some of the best value for money wines in all Bordeaux.

The Despagne family laid its roots down in the region over 200 years ago, the family motto is “Generosity, Exigency & Curiosity” and as wine producers they are highly regarded for their commitment to combining a passionate pursuit of quality with a total dedication to sustainability and caring for their environment.

Darren Gall has spent a quarter of a century involved in virtually every aspect of the wine industry and the passionate pursuit of the next great bottle continues. gall.darren@yahoo.com