Le Verdon-sur-Mer is an Atlantic cruise port and seaside resort town in southwestern France (Gironde department, Nouvelle Aquitaine region) with population around 1,500. Le Verdon is located close to Bordeaux. This port town is ideal for touring the Medoc wine region's vineyards. Best-known tourist destinations include Pointe de Grave (where Atlantic Ocea meets Gironde River), Cordouan Lighthouse, Fort Verdon (bunkers, partially camouflaged by plants and surrounded by a moat), beautiful Atlantic beaches, Gironde Estuary (swamps and forests).
Regular daily scheduled ferries (run by TransGironde) connect Le Verdon with Royan (Charente-Maritime). The ferry service (~20-min in each direction) provide passenger-car-truck-bicycle shipping across the estuary to the Medoc wine region. Medoc (translated as "middle land") is named as the peninsula is between Atlantic Ocean and Gironde Estuary. Its position allows huge streams of water to act as thermal regulators creating the perfect microclimate for the vineyards. The first Medoc vineyard was created in the 16th century, while most vineyards were established by mid-18th century. As early as 1730, topping up of casks (to compensate for headspace / ullage) and racking were introduced to keep the wines longer.
Cote de Beaute is a portion of the French Atlantic coastline (southeast of Arvert) that includes a total of 8 seaside resorts - Royan (capital city), Palmyra (Les Mathes), Saint-Palais-sur-Mer, Vaux-sur-Mer, Saint-Georges-de-Didonne, Meschers-sur-Gironde, Le Verdon-sur-Mer, and Soulac-sur-Mer.
The name of the region comes from the local Celtic tribe Medullicus, or "country of the Medulli". The region owes its success mainly to red wine production. Medoc is home to about 1500 vineyards. The area also features long sandy beaches and pine forests.
The geography of Medoc is not perfect for wine growing, with the proximity to the Atlantic Ocean which results in high rainfall and comparatively mild climate making rot a permanent problem. It is generally thought that the nature of Medoc's wine derives from the soil. Even though the terrain is flat, exceptional drainage is a necessity: the increased amount of gravel in region's soil allows heat to be retained, thus encouraging ripening, as well as extensive root systems.
All of the red wines in "1855 Classification" are from Medoc, with the only exception of Chateau Haut-Brion (from Graves). Many of the regional wines that are not in the classification were classified using Cru Bourgeois system through 2007. Following legal challenges, the category was abolished and introduced again in 2010 as annual "mark of quality".