Médoc is a large appellation on the western side of the Gironde estuary. It stretches 50 miles and includes nearly 15,000 acres of vineyards. The region is sometimes called Bas-Médoc, or Low-Médoc, to distinguish it from the Haut-Médoc, the region just to the south. Practically speaking the Médoc is often used to refer to the entire Left Bank region, and there are numerous sub-appellations within the Medoc, including such famous one as Margaux, Pauillac, Saint-Julien and Saint-Estéphe. There are nearly 600 wine producing properties in the Médoc, and just over half are cooperatives. None of the estates in the general Médoc appellation were included in the Bordeaux classification of 1855, though many estates in the smaller appellations, such as Margaux, were part of that famous ranking. In 1932 the term Cru Bourgeois was awarded to 444 Medoc estates, and it was meant as a sign of quality. Since then the use of the term has changed and today it is awarded to specific wines on an annual basis, not to estates.