Estates in Bordeaux are often classified according to the reputed quality of the producer. On the Left Bank in the Medoc wine region, the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855 is the starting point for classification and includes most of the Left Bank estates as well as Sauternes and Château Haut-Brion of Graves. Estates who were not classified in that listing may be classified under the Cru Bourgeois label.
In 1953, the rest of the Graves was classified. In 1954, a separate classification of Saint Emilion wine was set up for this Right Bank region.
While wine making styles do vary, a general rule of thumb is that the Left Bank is predominately more Cabernet Sauvignon based with the Right Bank more Merlot based. The Graves area produced both red wine and white wine from the Sauvignon blanc and Sémillon grapes. The area of Sauternes and Barsac are more known for the botrytized dessert wines.