St Estèphe is the most northerly of the Medoc communes and lies in an area where the pebbles washed down by the Gironde river start to give way to more clay and sandy soils. This in turn delivers wines that tend to have finer acidity and tannins, deeper colouring and, once matured, give stronger fruit flavours in well-rounded, perfumed and elegant wines. The dominant grape is still Cabernet Sauvignon with Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cot and Carmenere still playing their role in the final blends of each Château. The area covers some 1230 hectares, produces about 8.7 million bottles of fine wine through 136 producers, of which 56 are private Estates. In the 1855 Classification 5 wines were listed wines such as Cos D’Estournel, Château Montrose and Château Calon Segur.