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The map opposite shows how Bor-deaux's vineyards are divided by the Gironde and Garonne into two zones: Left Bank, with its capital the city of Bordeaux, and Right Bank, centered on the smaller port of Libourne. These two have experi-enced differing histories and have distinct geographic conditions. They show different facets of the overall Bordeaux style of red wine. The Left Bank vineyards, the large Medoc and Graves districts, have always looked to Bordeaux and beyond, to export markets. There are many large estates and well-known chateaux here. Cabernet Sauvignon is the dominant red wine grape. The Right Bank wines - primarily St-Emilion and Pomerol, with a clutch of lesser ones - were shipped through the port of Libourne, or overland, and historically have been less involved with overseas trade. Estates here are typically smaller, and fewer chateaux are household names overseas. Mer-lot is the main grape variety.

Dry white wine is made in the large area of the Entre-Deux-Mers, between the Graves and Libourne, and in Graves itself. Of these, only white Graves aspire to fine wine sta-tus. Sweet whites are also made, with the quality area famously con-centrated on the left bank of the Garonne in Sauternes and Barsac. Sweet wine is also produced in the area around Ste-Croix-du-Mont on the right bank of the Garonne.

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