Cussac-Fort-Médoc (Post code: F-33640) is a commune in the Haut-Médoc on the left bank of the Bordeaux region whose red wines can qualify for the Médoc and Haut-Médoc AOCs. Some small areas in the commune also qualify for the Moulis-en-Médoc and/or Saint-Julien AOCs. Bordeaux AOC still wines and Crémant de Bordeaux AOC sparkling wines can also be produced. Population: 2003 1,374 (c2003).

History: Cussac Fort, the northerly part of Cussac, is named after the medieval fortifications (between the D2 and the Gironde) which were erected here from 1690 under guidance from the military architect Vauban. These aimed to counter marauding river traffic upon the Gironde. This formed a defensive line with two other forts, one on the opposite bank at Blaye, and one in the middle on Isle Paté. The gateway to Cussac’s medieval fort is decorated with the royal sun of Louis XIV.

Terroir: Cussac Fort Médoc lies south of Saint-Julien, but the terrain is lower lying (20 metres above se level), and the vineyards are set further back from the Gironde, rendering them suitable for the Haut-Médoc appellation only. The clay element beneath the gravel here endows Cussac claret with its darkish colour and meaty backbone, which necessitates medium term cellaring. Vieux Cussac differs from Cussac Fort to the north in that its topsoils are sandy rather than clay rich. This tempts the buds out early, leaving them so prone to frost that anti-frost propellors have been mounted on pylons to stop the freezing air from stagnating. Surface area: 1,801 hectares.

Wineries: Château La Tour du Haut-Moulin. | Château Beaumont. | Château Lanessan. | Château Moulin-Rouge. | Château Lamothe Bergeron.