Blaye is an historic town located on the east bank of the Gironde estuary, 20 miles (32km) north of Bordeaux city. The landscape here is visibly different – higher and hillier – from that just across the Gironde on the flat Medoc peninsula, and the Blaye area lends a picturesque element to the landscape of Bordeaux. Historically, it has been home to three appellations: AOC Blaye, AOC Cotes de Blaye and AOC Premieres Cotes de Blaye. They were all created in 1936, then revised in the 1990s and again in 2009, when various changes were made to the Bordeaux appellation system.
Although Blaye has been producing wines for far longer than its more prestigious cousins to the south and west, it fell victim long ago to the harsh facts of commercialism. The area's particular position on the Gironde Estuary leads its shores to silt up heavily, which made access difficult for trading ships. The glory of Bordeaux as a whole has risen and fallen on the health of its exports, subject to both geographical and political factors. Today, the presence of a nuclear power plant just 10 miles north of Blaye town does little to improve the area's reputation.