The region takes its name from the areas, unique soils that consist of deep layers of gravel and stone. Below the gravel and pebble laden surface, layers of sand, hardpan and clay can be found. But much of the quality from this Bordeaux wine appellation is also shaped by the pine tree forests that inhabit the region. The trees assist in creating the unique, micro climate of the commune by protecting the vines from the humidity and winds. Another important consideration that makes the Graves Pessac Leognan different from all the other Bordeaux wine appellations is, this is the only Bordeaux region making large quantities of world class red and white.
With the exception of Chateau Haut Brion, which was classed in the 1855 Bordeaux Classification as a First Growth, the remaining producers from the Graves area were excluded from the original classification of 1855. That situation was finally rectified in 1953 when the wines from the area of Graves were officially classified.