French wine

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French wines are usually made to accompany food. French taste of wines.JPG
French wines are usually made to accompany food.
Vineyards in Vosne-Romanee in Burgundy, a village that is the source of some of France's most expensive wines. A vineyard worker manually tills the soil near Vosne-Romanee in Burgundy (7309839432).jpg
Vineyards in Vosne-Romanée in Burgundy, a village that is the source of some of France's most expensive wines.
Chateau Pichon Longueville Baron in Pauillac corresponds well to the traditional image of a prestigious French chateau, but in reality, French wineries come in all sizes and shapes. Chateau Pichon-Longueville Baron 01.jpg
Château Pichon Longueville Baron in Pauillac corresponds well to the traditional image of a prestigious French château, but in reality, French wineries come in all sizes and shapes.

French wine is produced all throughout France, in quantities between 50 and 60 million hectolitres per year, or 7–8 billion bottles. France is one of the largest wine producers in the world, along with Italian, Spanish, and American wine-producing regions. [1] [2] French wine traces its history to the 6th century BCE, with many of France's regions dating their wine-making history to Roman times. The wines produced range from expensive wines sold internationally to modest wines usually only seen within France such as the Margnat wines of the post war period.


Two concepts central to the better French wines are the notion of terroir , which links the style of the wines to the locations where the grapes are grown and the wine is made, and the Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) system, replaced by the Appellation d'Origine Protégée (AOP) system in 2012. Appellation rules closely define which grape varieties and winemaking practices are approved for classification in each of France's several hundred geographically defined appellations, which can cover regions, villages or vineyards.

France is the source of many grape varieties (such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot noir, Sauvignon blanc, Syrah) that are now planted throughout the world, as well as wine-making practices and styles of wine that have been adopted in other producing countries. Although some producers have benefited in recent years from rising prices and increased demand for prestige wines from Burgundy and Bordeaux, competition from New World wines has contributed to a decline in the domestic and international consumption of French wine. [3]


French wine originated in the 6th century BCE, with the colonization of Southern Gaul by Greek settlers. Viticulture soon flourished with the founding of the Greek colony of Marseille. Wine has been around for thousands of years in the countries on the Mediterranean but France has made it a part of their civilization and has considered wine-making as art for over two thousand years. The Gauls knew how to cultivate the vine and how to prune it. Pruning creates an important distinction in the difference between wild vines and wine-producing grapes. Before long, the wines produced in Gaul were popular all around the world. [4] [5] The Roman Empire licensed regions in the south to produce wines. St. Martin of Tours (316–397) spread Christianity and planted vineyards. [6] During the Middle Ages, monks maintained vineyards and, more importantly, conserved wine-making knowledge and skills during that often turbulent period. Monasteries had the resources, security and inventiveness to produce a steady supply of wine for Mass and profit. [7] The best vineyards were owned by the monasteries and their wine was considered to be superior. [8] The nobility developed extensive vineyards but the French Revolution led to the confiscation of many vineyards. [9]

The advance of the French wine industry stopped abruptly as first Mildew and then Phylloxera spread throughout the country and the rest of Europe, leaving vineyards desolate. Then came an economic downturn in Europe followed by two world wars and the French wine industry was depressed for decades. [10] Competition threatened French brands such as Champagne and Bordeaux. This resulted in the establishment in 1935 of the Appellation d'origine contrôlée to protect French interests. Large investments, the economic revival after World War II and a new generation of Vignerons yielded results in the 1970s and the following decades, creating the modern French wine industry. [11]

Quality levels and appellation system

In 1935, laws were passed to control the quality of French wine. The Appellation d'origine contrôlée system was established, which is governed by a powerful oversight board ( Institut national des appellations d'origine , INAO). France has one of the oldest systems for protected designation of origin for wine in the world and strict laws concerning winemaking and production and many European systems are modeled after it. [11] [12] The word "appellation" has been put to use by other countries, sometimes in a much looser meaning. As European Union wine laws have been modeled after those of the French, this trend is likely to continue with further EU expansion.

French law divides wine into four categories, two falling under the European Union Table Wine category and two the Quality Wines Produced in Specified Regions (QWPSR) designation. The categories and their shares of the total French production for the 2005 vintage, excluding wine destined for Cognac, Armagnac and other brandies, were

Table wine:


The total French production for the 2005 vintage was 43.9 million hl (plus an additional 9.4 million hl destined for various brandies) of which 28.3% was white and 71.7% was red or rosé. [13] The proportion of white wine is slightly higher for the higher categories, with 34.3% of the AOC wine being white. In years with less favourable vintage conditions than 2005, the proportion of AOC wine tends to be a little lower. The proportion of Vin de table has decreased considerably over the last decades, while the proportion of AOC has increased somewhat and Vin de Pays has increased considerably. In 2005 there were 472 wine AOCs in France. [14]


The wine classification system of France was revised in 2006, with a new system fully introduced by 2012. The new system consists of three categories rather than four, since there will be no category corresponding to VDQS from 2012. The new categories are: [15]

The largest changes will be in the Vin de France category, and to VDQS wines, which either need to qualify as AOP wines or be downgraded to an IGP category. For the former AOC wines, the move to AOP will only mean minor changes to the terminology of the label, while the actual names of the appellations themselves will remain unchanged. While no new wines have been marketed under the old designations from 2012, bottles already in the distribution chain will not be relabelled.

Wine styles, grape varieties and terroir

Vineyard in Cote de Beaune, Burgundy. Weinberg Cote de Nuits.jpg
Vineyard in Côte de Beaune, Burgundy.

All common styles of wine – red, rosé, white (dry, semi-sweet and sweet), sparkling and fortified – are produced in France. In most of these styles, the French production ranges from cheap and simple versions to some of the world's most famous and expensive examples. An exception is French fortified wines, which tend to be relatively unknown outside France.

In many respects, French wines have more of a regional than a national identity, as evidenced by different grape varieties, production methods and different classification systems in the various regions. Quality levels and prices vary enormously, and some wines are made for immediate consumption while other are meant for long-time cellaring.

If there is one thing that most French wines have in common, it is that most styles have developed as wines meant to accompany food, be it a quick baguette, a simple bistro meal, or a full-fledged multi-course menu. [16] Since the French tradition is to serve wine with food, wines have seldom been developed or styled as "bar wines" for drinking on their own, or to impress in tastings when young. [17]

Grape varieties

Numerous grape varieties are cultivated in France, including both internationally well-known and obscure local varieties. In fact, most of the so-called "international varieties" are of French origin, or became known and spread because of their cultivation in France. [12] Since French appellation rules generally restrict wines from each region, district or appellation to a small number of allowed grape varieties, there are in principle no varieties that are commonly planted throughout all of France.

Most varieties of grape are primarily associated with a certain region, such as Cabernet Sauvignon in Bordeaux and Syrah in Rhône, although there are some varieties that are found in two or more regions, such as Chardonnay in Bourgogne (including Chablis) and Champagne, and Sauvignon blanc in Loire and Bordeaux. As an example of the rules, although climatic conditions would appear to be favorable, no Cabernet Sauvignon wines are produced in Rhône, Riesling wines in Loire, or Chardonnay wines in Bordeaux. (If such wines were produced, they would have to be declassified to Vin de Pays or French table wine. They would not be allowed to display any appellation name or even region of origin.)

Traditionally, many French wines have been blended from several grape varieties. Varietal white wines have been, and are still, more common than varietal red wines.

At the 2007 harvest, the most common grape varieties were the following: [18] [19]

Common grape varieties in France (2007 situation, all varieties over 1 000 ha)
VarietyColorArea (%)Area (hectares)
1. Merlot red13.6%116 715
2. Grenache red11.3%97 171
3. Ugni blanc white9.7%83 173
4. Syrah red8.1%69 891
5. Carignan red6.9%59 210
6. Cabernet Sauvignon red6.7%57 913
7. Chardonnay white5.1%43 887
8. Cabernet Franc red4.4%37 508
9. Gamay red3.7%31 771
10. Pinot noir red3.4%29 576
11. Sauvignon blanc white3.0%26 062
12. Cinsaut red2.6%22 239
13. Melon de Bourgogne white1.4%12 483
14. Sémillon white1.4%11 864
15. Pinot Meunier red1.3%11 335
16. Chenin blanc white1.1%9 756
17. Mourvèdre red1.1%9 494
18. Colombard white0.9%7 710
19. Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains white0.9%7 634
20. Malbec red0.8%6 291
21. Alicante Bouschet red0.7%5 680
22. Grenache blanc white0.6%5 097
23. Viognier white0.5%4 111
24. Muscat de Hambourg red0.4%3 605
25. Riesling white0.4%3 480
26. Vermentino white0.4%3 453
27. Aramon red0.4%3 304
28. Gewurztraminer pink0.4%3 040
29. Tannat red0.3%3 001
30. Gros Manseng white0.3%2 877
31. Macabeu white0.3%2 778
32. Muscat d'Alexandrie white0.3%2 679
33. Pinot gris grey0.3%2 582
34. Clairette white0.3%2 505
35. Caladoc red0.3%2 449
36. Grolleau red0.3%2 363
37. Auxerrois blanc white0.3%2 330
38. Marselan red0.3%2 255
39. Mauzac white0.2%2 077
40. Aligoté white0.2%1 946
41. Folle blanche white0.2%1 848
42. Grenache gris grey0.2%1 756
43. Chasselas white0.2%1 676
44. Nielluccio red0.2%1 647
45. Fer red0.2%1 634
46. Muscadelle white0.2%1 618
47. Terret blanc white0.2%1 586
48. Sylvaner white0.2%1 447
49. Piquepoul blanc white0.2%1 426
50. Villard noir red0.2%1 399
51. Marsanne white0.2%1 326
52. Négrette red0.2%1 319
53. Roussanne white0.2%1 307
54. Pinot blanc white0.2%1 304
55. Plantet white0.1%1 170
56. Jacquère white0.1%1 052
All white varieties30.1%259 130
All red, pink and grey varieties69.9%601 945
Grand total100.0%861 075


A Cahors chateau and vineyard Cahors Chateau.jpg
A Cahors chateau and vineyard

The concept of Terroir, which refers to the unique combination of natural factors associated with any particular vineyard, is important to French vignerons. [12] It includes such factors as soil, underlying rock, altitude, slope of hill or terrain, orientation toward the sun, and microclimate (typical rain, winds, humidity, temperature variations, etc.). Even in the same area, no two vineyards have exactly the same terroir, thus being the base of the Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) system that has been a model for appellation and wine laws across the globe. In other words: when the same grape variety is planted in different regions, it can produce wines that are significantly different from each other. [20] In France the concept of terroir manifests itself most extremely in the Burgundy region. [12] The amount of influence and the scope that falls under the description of terroir has been a controversial topic in the wine industry. [21]

Labelling practices

Vigneron independent logo Logo-vigneron Thmb.jpg
Vigneron independent logo

The amount of information included on French wine labels varies depending on which region the wine was made in, and what level of classification the wine carries. As a minimum, labels will usually state that classification, as well as the name of the producer, and, for wines above the Vin De Table level, will also include the geographical area where the wine was made. Sometimes that will simply be the wider region where the wine was made, but some labels, especially for higher quality wines, will also include details of the individual village or commune, and even the specific vineyard where the wine was sourced. With the exception of wines from the Alsace region, France had no tradition of labelling wines with details of the grape varieties used. Since New World wines made the names of individual grape varieties familiar to international consumers in the late 20th century, more French wineries started to use varietal labelling. In general, varietal labelling is most common for the Vin de Pays category, although some AOC wines now also display varietal names. For most AOC wines, if grape varieties are mentioned, they will be in small print on a back label.

Labels will also indicate where the wine was bottled, which can be an indication as to the quality level of the wine, and whether it was bottled by a single producer, or more anonymously and in larger quantities:

If varietal names are displayed, common EU rules apply: [23]

Wine regions of France

Map of the principal wine regions in France French vineyardsFa Guo Jiu Qu Di Tu .svg
Map of the principal wine regions in France

The recognized wine producing areas in France are regulated by the Institut National des Appellations d'Origine – INAO in acronym. Every appellation in France is defined by INAO, in regards to the individual regions particular wine "character". If a wine fails to meet the INAO's strict criteria it is declassified into a lower appellation or even into Vin de Pays or Vin de Table. With the number of appellations in France too numerous to mention here, they are easily defined into one of the main wine producing regions listed below:


Alsace is primarily a white-wine region, though some red, rosé, sparkling and sweet wines are also produced. It is situated in eastern France on the river Ill and borders Germany, a country with which it shares many grape varieties as well as a long tradition of varietal labelling. Grapes grown in Alsace include Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot gris, Pinot blanc, Pinot noir, and Muscat


Beaujolais is primarily a red-wine region generally made from the Gamay grape. Gamay is characterized by an early ripening and acidic variety. Due to the carbonic maceration that producers use during the wine-making process Beaujolais wines are brightly colored with a low level of soft tannin. They usually have an intense fruity flavor of raspberry and cranberry. Apart from Gamay grape some white and sparkling rosé are also produced. [24]

Beaujolais region is situated in central East of France following the river Saone below Burgundy and above Lyon. There are 12 appellations in Beaujolais including Beaujolais AOC and Beaujolais-Villages AOC and 10 Crus: Brouilly, Regnié, Chiroubles, Cote de Brouilly, Fleurie, Saint-Amour, Chénas, Juliénas, Morgon and Moulin-a-Vent. The Beaujolais region is also notorious for the Beaujolais Nouveau, a popular vin de primeur which is released annually on the third Thursday of November.


Pauillac is home to three of the five Bordeaux's first growth wines (classification of 1855) Vignoble de Pauillac.jpg
Pauillac is home to three of the five Bordeaux's first growth wines (classification of 1855)

Bordeaux is a large region on the Atlantic coast, which has a long history of exporting its wines overseas. This is primarily a red wine region, famous for the wines Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château Latour, Château Mouton-Rothschild, Château Margaux and Château Haut-Brion from the Médoc sub-region; Château Cheval Blanc and Château Ausone in Saint-Émilion; and Château Pétrus and Château Le Pin in Pomerol. The red wines produced are usually blended, from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and sometimes Cabernet Franc. Bordeaux also makes dry and sweet white wines, including some of the world's most famous sweet wines from the Sauternes appellation, such as Château d'Yquem.

The Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855 resulted from the Exposition Universelle de Paris, when Emperor Napoleon III requested a classification system for France's best Bordeaux wines that were to be on display for visitors from around the world. Brokers from the wine industry ranked the wines according to a château's reputation and trading price.


Brittany is not an official wine region anymore, but it has a rich history related to grapegrowing and winemaking and has recently been demonstrating a revival of its viticulture. Several small recreational vineyards were established in the last two decades e.g. in Rennes, Quimper, Morlaix, Le Quillo, Cléguérec, Sain Sulliac, Le Folgoët, etc.


Wine from Nuits-Saint-Georges Domaine H et G Remoriquet Nuits St Georges les Bousselots.jpg
Wine from Nuits-Saint-Georges

Burgundy or Bourgogne in eastern France is a region where red and white wines are equally important. Probably more terroir-conscious than any other region, Burgundy is divided into the largest number of appellations of any French region. The top wines from Burgundy's heartland in Côte d'Or command high prices. The Burgundy region is divided in four main parts:

There are two parts of Burgundy that are sometimes considered as separate regions:

There are two main grape varieties used in Burgundy – Chardonnay for white wines, and Pinot noir for red. White wines are also sometimes made from Aligoté, and other grape varieties will also be found occasionally.

Gustave Henri Laly, a renowned wine producer from Burgundy, supplied the French General Assembly with his Montrachet produced at Mont Dardon around the turn of the 20th century.


Champagne, situated in northeastern France, close to Belgium and Luxembourg, is the coldest of France's major wine regions and home to its major sparkling wine. Champagne wines can be both white and rosé. A small amount of still wine is produced in Champagne using (as AOC Coteaux Champenois) of which some can be red wine.


Corsica is an island in the Mediterranean the wines of which are primarily consumed on the island itself. It has nine AOC regions and an island-wide vin de pays designation and is still developing its production methods as well as its regional style. [25]


Île-de-France is not an official wine region anymore. Yet it has a rich history related to grapegrowing and winemaking and has recently been demonstrating a revival of its viticulture. 5 villages of Ile de France (north-east of the Seine et Marne department) are part of the Champagne area and more than 200 small recreational vineyards were established in the last decades covering about 12 hectares altogether.


Jura, a small region in the mountains close to Switzerland where some unique wine styles, notably Vin Jaune and Vin de Paille, are produced. The region covers six appellations and is related to Burgundy through its extensive use of the Burgundian grapes Chardonnay and Pinot noir, though other varieties are used. It also shares cool climate with Burgundy. [26]


Languedoc-Roussillon is the largest region in terms of vineyard surface and production, hence the region in which much of France's cheap bulk wines have been produced. So-called "wine lake", Languedoc-Roussillon is also the home of some innovative producers who combine traditional French wine like blanquette de Limoux, the world's oldest sparkling wine, and international styles while using lessons from the New World. Much Languedoc-Roussillon wine is sold as Vin de Pays d'Oc.


Loire valley is a primarily white-wine region that stretches over a long distance along the Loire River in central and western France, and where grape varieties and wine styles vary along the river. Four sub-regions are situated along the river:


Normandy is not an official wine region anymore. Yet it has a rich history related to grapegrowing and winemaking and has recently been demonstrating a revival of its viticulture. Several small recreational vineyards were established in the last two decades and at least one operates on a commercial scale in Grisy near Caen.


Picardy is not an official wine region anymore. Yet it has a rich history related to grapegrowing and winemaking and has recently been demonstrating a revival of its viticulture. 40 villages of Picardy (south of the Aisne department) are now part of the Champagne area and several small recreational vineyards were established in the last two decades e.g. in Coucy le Château, Gerberoy, Gouvieux, Clairoix, etc.


Provence, in the south-east and close to the Mediterranean. It is perhaps the warmest wine region of France and produces mainly rosé and red wine. It covers eight major appellations led by the Provence flagship, Bandol. [27] Some Provence wine can be compared with the Southern Rhône wines as they share both grapes and, to some degree, style and climate. [27] [28] [29] Provence also has a classification of its most prestigious estates, much like Bordeaux. [30]


Rhône Valley, primarily a red-wine region in south-eastern France, along the Rhône River. The styles and varietal composition of northern and southern Rhône differ, but both parts compete with Bordeaux as traditional producers of red wines.


Savoy or Savoie, primarily a white-wine region in the Alps close to Switzerland, where many grapes unique to this region are cultivated.

South West France

South West France or Sud-Ouest, a somewhat heterogeneous collection of wine areas inland or south of Bordeaux. Some areas produce primarily red wines in a style reminiscent of red Bordeaux, while other produce dry or sweet white wines. Areas within Sud-Ouest include among other:

There are also several smaller production areas situated outside these major regions. Many of those are VDQS wines, and some, particularly those in more northern locations, are remnants of production areas that were once larger.

France has traditionally been the largest consumer of its own wines. However, wine consumption has been dropping in France for 40 years. During the decade of the 1990s, per capita consumption dropped by nearly 20 percent. Therefore, French wine producers must rely increasingly on foreign markets. However, consumption has also been dropping in other potential markets such as Italy, Spain and Portugal.

The result has been a continuing wine glut, often called the wine lake. This has led to the distillation of wine into industrial alcohol as well as a government program to pay farmers to pull up their grape vines through vine pull schemes. A large part of this glut is caused by the re-emergence of Languedoc wine.

Immune from these problems has been the market for Champagne as well as the market for the expensive ranked or classified wines. However, these constitute only about five percent of French production.

French regulations in 1979 created simple rules for the then-new category of Vin de pays. The Languedoc-Roussillon region has taken advantage of its ability to market varietal wines.


L'Office national interprofessionnel des vins, abbreviated ONIVINS, is a French association of vintners.

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Beaujolais</span> Wine from the Beaujolais region of France

Beaujolais is a French Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) wine generally made of the Gamay grape, which has a thin skin and is low in tannins. Like most AOC wines they are not labeled varietally. Whites from the region, which make up only 1% of its production, are made mostly with Chardonnay grapes though Aligoté is also permitted until 2024. Beaujolais tends to be a very light-bodied red wine, with relatively high amounts of acidity. In some vintages, Beaujolais produces more wine than the Burgundy wine regions of Chablis, Côte d'Or, Côte Chalonnaise and Mâconnais put together.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Burgundy wine</span> Wine made in the Burgundy region in eastern France

Burgundy wine is made in the Burgundy region of eastern France, in the valleys and slopes west of the Saône, a tributary of the Rhône. The most famous wines produced here, and those commonly referred to as "Burgundies," are dry red wines made from pinot noir grapes and white wines made from chardonnay grapes.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Rhône wine</span> Wine region

The Rhône wine region in Southern France is situated in the Rhône valley and produces numerous wines under various Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) designations. The region's major appellation in production volume is Côtes du Rhône AOC.

<i>Vin de pays</i> French wine classification

Vin de pays was a French wine classification that was above the vin de table classification, but below the appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) classification and below the former vin délimité de qualité supérieure classification. The vin de pays classification was replaced by the EU indication Indication Géographique Protégée in 2009.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Muscadet</span>

Muscadet is a French white wine. It is made at the western end of the Loire Valley, near the city of Nantes in the Pays de la Loire region. It is made from the Melon de Bourgogne grape, often referred to simply as melon. While most appellation d'origine contrôlée wines are named after their growing region, or in Alsace after their variety, the name Muscadet refers to an alleged characteristic of the wine produced by the melon grape variety: vin qui a un goût musqué. However, according to wine expert Tom Stevenson, Muscadet wines do not have much, if any, muskiness or Muscat-like flavors or aromas.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bordeaux wine</span> Wine produced in the Bordeaux region of France

Bordeaux wine is produced in the Bordeaux region of southwest France, around the city of Bordeaux, on the Garonne River. To the north of the city the Dordogne River joins the Garonne forming the broad estuary called the Gironde; the Gironde department, with a total vineyard area of over 120,000 hectares, is the largest wine growing area in France.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bugey wine</span>

Bugey wine is produced in the Bugey region in the Ain département of France, under the two VDQS designations Bugey and Roussette du Bugey. On May 28, 2009, INAO gave its final approval for the elevation of Bugey and Roussette du Bugey to Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) status.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jura wine</span>

Jura wine is French wine produced in the Jura département. Located between Burgundy and Switzerland, this cool climate wine region produces wines with some similarity to Burgundy and Swiss wine. Jura wines are distinctive and unusual wines, the most famous being vin jaune, which is made by a similar process to Sherry, developing under a flor-like strain of yeast. This is made from the local Savagnin grape variety. Other grape varieties include Poulsard, Trousseau, and Chardonnay. Other wine styles found in Jura includes a vin de paille made from Chardonnay, Poulsard and Savagnin, a sparkling Crémant du Jura made from slightly unripe Chardonnay grapes, and a vin de liqueur known as Macvin du Jura made by adding marc to halt fermentation. The renowned French chemist and biologist Louis Pasteur was born and raised in the Jura region and owned a vineyard near Arbois.

The glossary of wine terms lists the definitions of many general terms used within the wine industry. For terms specific to viticulture, winemaking, grape varieties, and wine tasting, see the topic specific list in the "See also" section below.

Abouriou is a red French wine grape variety grown primarily in Southwest France and, in small quantities, California. It is a blending grape that, along with Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Fer, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot, is used to make the Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) wine of Côtes du Marmandais. Abouriou can also be made into a varietal, as it is used in some vin de pays wines. The grape is known for its low acidity and high tannin content.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cabardès AOC</span>

Cabardès is an Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) for red and rosé wine in Languedoc-Roussillon wine region in France. Cabardès was named after the Lords of Cabaret who defended the Châteaux de Lastours against Simon de Montfort in 1209. Despite the name's medieval origins, this appellation is one of the youngest in France, having only become official in February 1999.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bordeaux wine regions</span> Wine growing areas in France

The wine regions of Bordeaux are a large number of wine growing areas, differing widely in size and sometimes overlapping, which lie within the overarching wine region of Bordeaux, centred on the city of Bordeaux and covering the whole area of the Gironde department of Aquitaine.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Loire Valley (wine)</span> French wine region

The Loire Valley wine region includes the French wine regions situated along the river Loire from the Muscadet region near the city of Nantes on the Atlantic coast to the region of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé just southeast of the city of Orléans in north central France. In between are the regions of Anjou wine, Saumur, Bourgueil, Chinon, and Vouvray. The Loire Valley itself follows the river through the Loire department to the river's origins in the Cévennes but the majority of the wine production takes place in the regions noted above. The area includes 87 appellations under the Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC), Vin Délimité de Qualité Superieure (VDQS) and Vin de pays systems. While the majority of production is white wine from the Chenin blanc, Sauvignon blanc and Melon de Bourgogne grapes, there are red wines made from Cabernet franc. In addition to still wines, rosé, sparkling and dessert wines are also produced. With Crémant production throughout the Loire, it is the second largest sparkling wine producer in France after Champagne. Among these different wine styles, Loire wines tend to exhibit characteristic fruitiness with fresh, crisp flavors-especially in their youth. The Loire Valley has a long history of winemaking dating back to the 1st century. In the High Middle Ages, the wines of the Loire Valley were the most esteemed wines in England and France, even more prized than those from Bordeaux.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Regional Bordeaux AOCs</span>

In the Bordeaux wine region there are seven regional Appellations d'origine contrôlée (AOCs) that may be used throughout the Gironde department. These are Bordeaux Rouge AOC, Bordeaux Supérieur Rouge, Bordeaux Clairet, Bordeaux Rosé, Bordeaux Blanc, a dry white, Bordeaux Supérieur Blanc, a sweet white, and Crémant de Bordeaux, a sparkling méthode traditionnelle wine. The regional appellations together form the largest world-class wine vineyard, making up more than half of the production of the prestigious Bordeaux wine region, and representing more than 55% of all Bordeaux wines consumed in the world.

Côtes du Marmandais is an Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) for wine located in South West France around the commune of Marmande. With its location just southeast of the Entre-Deux-Mers along the banks of the Garonne river, it is a satellite of Bordeaux, but just outside the borders of that region. The region was elevated from Vin Délimité de Qualité Superieure (VDQS) to AOC status in 1990. From the Middle Ages to the 19th century, the wines of the Côtes du Marmandais were widely exported to the Netherlands. The Phylloxera epidemic wiped out most of the vineyards in this area with many farmers switching to other agricultural crops. It was not until the later half of the 20th century that viticulture in the area reaffirmed itself.

Médoc is an AOC for wine in the Bordeaux wine region of southwestern France, on the Left Bank of the Gironde estuary that covers the northern section of the viticultural strip along the Médoc peninsula. The zone is sometimes called Bas-Médoc, though this term is not permitted on any label. With few exceptions there is produced only red wine, and no white wine has the right to be called Médoc.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Provence wine</span> French wine from Provence

Provence (Provençal) wine comes from the French wine-producing region of Provence in southeast France. The Romans called the area provincia nostra, giving the region its name. Just south of the Alps, it was the first Roman province outside Italy.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Saint-Bris AOC</span>

Saint-Bris is an Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) for white wine in the Burgundy wine region of France. This AOC is located around the village Saint-Bris-le-Vineux in the Yonne department, a few kilometers southwest of the Chablis AOC area, and southeast of the city of Auxerre, which places it roughly halfway between Paris and Burgundy's heartland in Côte d'Or. The approximately 100 hectares of vineyard in the appellation are situated in the communes Chitry, Irancy, Quenne, Saint-Bris-le-Vineux and Vincelottes.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">South West France (wine region)</span>

South West France, or in French Sud-Ouest, is a wine region in France covering several wine-producing areas situated respectively inland from, and south of, the wine region of Bordeaux. These areas, which have a total of 16,000 hectares of vineyards, consist of several discontinuous wine "islands" throughout the Aquitaine region, and more or less to the west of the Midi-Pyrénées region.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Madiran wine</span> Wine region in Gascony, south west France

Madiran wine is produced around the village of Madiran in Gascony under three Appellations d'Origine Contrôlées (AOCs): Madiran for red wines and Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh and Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh Sec for white wines. The production area for Madiran wine is spread over three départments – Gers, Hautes-Pyrénées and Pyrénées-Atlantiques – and is a part of the South West France wine region. There are 1,300 hectares of Madiran vineyards.


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