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In the modern world everything happens quickly; the only constant is that things will change. Despite this endless state of flux some things remain dependable; the more time passes, the more compelling these fixed landmarks become. They become models, archetypes, symbols, and end up as legends. The Rolls Royce has become the symbol of the luxury automobile, Champagne has become synonymous with celebration, and sometimes fame can become so powerful that a brand is turned into a concept. The French call a car horn a Klaxon, the British call a vacuum cleaner a Hoover, and Americans call a white wine Chablis. Do we use Bordeaux to mean any red wine? No, because the word has been stoutly defended. Nevertheless, Bordeaux wine is now so celebrated the world over that it has become the archetype of red wine.
The entire world conforms to the standards of Bordeaux, envies it, and copies it. Thus Bordeaux grape varieties-particularly cabernet sauvignon-are planted in vineyards everywhere. Thus, in every country, wine is matured in wood, even to excess. Thus the wines of the four corners of the globe are stored in Bordeaux-shaped bottles.
What is behind this exemplary success story? The entirely random creation, over thousands of years, of a unique soil; weather conditions that particularly favor the development of subtle aromas in the grapes; and lastly, the tireless efforts of people who in three centuries have built up a legend.