Côtes de Francs is the smallest of Bordeaux’s appellations and includes just three communes. Located six miles east of St.-Emilion, it is home to about 30 estates, each of which, on average, have vineyards of only about 15 acres. Côtes de Francs enjoys a terroir that is a clay plateau, much like its famous neighbor to the west, St.-Emilion. Although about 20 percent of the appellation is planted to the white wine grapes of Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle, the area’s strength is in red grapes, particularly Merlot. Côtes de Francs was officially recognized as an appellation in 1976, but in recent decades it has attracted innovative, often younger vignerons.