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Charles Winn gives the Lowdown on the World’s ‘Fine Wine’ Capital




The majority of the world might remain in lockdown amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but for some industries life must continue as normal, such as for ‘fine wine’. Whilst the rest of the world locks down, in Bordeaux – the fine wine capital of the world – producers are hard at work preparing their crops for the next season.


A port city on the Garonne River in southwestern France, Bordeaux is renowned globally for its famous wine-growing regions. A river runs directly through the region, and on the West side sits Gironde and Garonne. Typically, these regions are known for wines such as Sauvignon. On the East side of the river nestles Dordogne, known primarily for Merlot.

In total, Bordeaux has 57 grape-growing regions making it the biggest wine producer in France. Originally made famous for its popularity with kings, nowadays, Bordeaux and its chateaus are popular tourist attractions.

The Wines

As one of the biggest wine-makers in the world, you might expect Bordeaux to produce a diverse range of different type of wines. However, more than 90% of the wine produced here is actually red, with the region specifically producing Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Carménère.

Having said this, in 2019 Bordeaux’s regulatory body approved four additional dark grape varieties to add to the list: Marselan, Touriga Nacional, Castets, and Arinarnoa.

Bordeaux’s First Growth wines (the term for a wine made specifically made in Bordeaux) are made by blending 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc and 15% Merlot. In contrast, the White Bordeaux is made from Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle. 

The History

Bordeaux’s wine-making history stretches back over many centuries. In 1855, the Association of Bordeaux Wine Merchants established official classification and certification of the wines after Emperor Napoleon III requested that they do so.

Ranking the wines from First Growths to Fifth Growths, the merchants evaluated market prices based on an evaluation of the previous years. They noticed that red wines which made the list came from the Médoc region, except for one: Château Haut-Brion from Graves.

Since this original classification in 1855, there have only been two changes. In 1856, Château Cantemerle was added as a Fifth Growth and in 1973, Château Mouton Rothschild was promoted from Second Growth to the elite First Growth classification. The latter change is a wine much loved and highly ranked by Charles Winn and its customers.

Château Margaux

Global flavour

It didn’t take long for the popularity of Bordeaux wine to grow all over the world. After King Henry II’s marriage to Eleanor of Aquitaine in 1152, an interest in wine from the Bordeaux region was prompted in England.

The marriage established the province of Aquitaine within France and England, and a new dark rosé wine was created, called ‘Claret’. This wine soon became the most common wine to be exported to Britain.

After the battle of Castillion in 1453, the Aquitaine region returned to the French. Since then, the word ‘Claret’ became anglicised and is still widely used today, due to the global popularity of the wine.

The exterior of the château

Michelle has been a part of the journey ever since Bigtime Daily started. As a strong learner and passionate writer, she contributes her editing skills for the news agency. She also jots down intellectual pieces from categories such as science and health.

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Sustainable Animal Management Practices for Small Farms: Minimizing Environmental Impact and Maximizing Profits




Small farms play a vital role in our food system, providing locally-grown produce and meat to communities across the country. However, these farms face challenges in terms of sustainable animal management, as they may lack the resources and infrastructure of larger operations. In this article, we will discuss some sustainable animal management practices that small farms can adopt to minimize their environmental impact and maximize their profits.

Implementing a Rotational Grazing System

One issue that small farms may face is managing the waste produced by their livestock. Manure and other by-products can contribute to air and water pollution if not properly managed. One strategy for addressing this issue is to implement a rotational grazing system. This involves dividing a pasture into several smaller sections and rotating the livestock between them. This allows the animals to graze on fresh grass while also allowing the grass to recover and reducing the amount of manure in any one area. The benefits of this system include improved soil health, increased biodiversity, and reduced need for chemical fertilizers.

Using Natural Remedies and Preventative Measures

Another sustainable animal management practice for small farms is to use natural remedies and preventative measures to reduce the need for antibiotics and other medications. For example, probiotics and essential oils can be used to promote gut health in livestock, while natural fly repellents can help keep pests at bay. This not only reduces the use of antibiotics and other chemicals but can also improve the overall health and well-being of the animals. Moreover, animals that are raised naturally and without the use of antibiotics or growth hormones may fetch higher prices in the market.

Investing in Efficient Infrastructure

In terms of infrastructure, small farms can benefit from investing in equipment and facilities that are designed to be efficient and low impact. For example, a cattle gate system can be used to manage the movement of livestock between pastures without the need for manual labor. This system involves a series of gates and fences that can be opened and closed remotely, allowing the farmer to easily move the animals to different areas of the farm. This reduces the amount of time and energy required to manage the livestock, while also minimizing the risk of injury to both the animals and the farmer. Similarly, investing in solar-powered water pumps, energy-efficient lighting, and eco-friendly insulation can help reduce the farm’s energy costs and carbon footprint.

Collaborating with Other Farmers

Small farmers can also benefit from networking with other farmers and industry professionals to share knowledge and resources. This can include attending workshops and conferences, joining farmer networks and associations, and connecting with other farmers online. By working together and sharing ideas, small farmers can learn from each other and develop sustainable animal management practices that are tailored to their specific needs and resources. Moreover, collaborating with other farmers can help small farms gain access to new markets, shared resources such as equipment, and increased bargaining power with suppliers and buyers.


In conclusion, sustainable animal management practices are crucial for small farms to minimize their environmental impact and maximize their profits. By implementing strategies such as rotational grazing, natural remedies, efficient infrastructure, and networking with other farmers, small farms can thrive while also contributing to a more sustainable and resilient food system. And with tools like the cattle gate system, small farmers can manage their livestock with ease and efficiency, allowing them to focus on what really matters: growing healthy, happy animals and producing high-quality, locally grown food.

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