French Wine

Perhaps no country evokes such strong associations with fine wine as does France. Its reputation has led to worldwide imitation. Many varieties that are now considered international, such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, are French, and winemaking pioneers in New World regions such as California and Chile look to the great wines of France as their benchmark.


France has been making wine since approximately 600 BC, and was its largest producer until it was passed by Italy in 2008.  With over 800,000 hectacres under vine, it has the largest vineyard area in the world after Spain. It is, however, the world’s largest producer of fine wines. AC wines constitute over 45 percent of its production, compared with 12 to 15 percent of Italy’s, for example.

One advantage France has over other wine-producing countries is the great variety of growing climates it encompasses. Its south has a Mediterranean climate, with a warm sun that can be relied on to fully ripen grapes. Western France Read more »

Mentor for French Wines

Christy Canterbury MW

Master of Wine. Wine judge+public speaker. Journalist for Snooth+Decanter+TimAtkin.com+Beverage Media+SOMM Journal+Civiltà del Bere+others. Short-listed for the 2014 Roederer Online Communicator of the Year Award. Incorrigible traveler!

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Popular wines made in France under $20

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Varietals Produced in France View all

  • Syrah

    The irony here is that Syrah’s origins could give Carmen Sandiego a run for her international wallet. Syrah’s deepest...

  • Sauvignon Blanc

    Sauvignon Blanc is widely grown in California -- at over 15,000 acres, it’s now the third most planted variety -- and...

  • Pinot Noir

    “With so voluptuous a perfume, so sweet an edge, they make the blood run hot,” Joel Fleischman, wine columnist at Van...

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

    “King of the Red Wine Grapes.” The colonizer of the vineyards, pushing native wine grapes into its shadows. The Caber...

  • Chardonnay

    British wine writer and critic, Jancis Robinson, once noted that throughout the 80’s and 90’s in the United States, C...

  • Merlot

    The Occitanian word “merlot” translates to “young blackbird.” An accurate description for this popular, early-budding...

Subregions of France

  • Alsace

    This region, wedged between the Rhine River and the Voges Mountains, is the product of a fascin...

  • Armagnac

      Armagnac is a grape brandy that is produced in the Gascony region of France. It’s the olde...

  • Bordeaux

    Located around the Gironde estuary and along the Dordogne and Garonne rivers, Bordeaux is one o...

  • Burgundy

      Burgundy is perhaps the most complex and intimidating of French wine regions. It is locate...

  • Champagne

      Champagne is the most famous sparkling wine region in the world. It is located in northeas...

  • Cognac

      Table wine production has existed in the Cognac region of France since the Romans first pl...

  • Jura

    Jura is a French wine region that lies between Burgundy and Switzerland. The wines produced her...

  • Languedoc-roussillon

      This incredibly diverse region produces about a quarter of all the wine made in France, bu...

  • Loire

      The Loire River valley is a massively varied viticultural region in northwestern France. I...

  • Provence

    Sun-soaked Provence – home of the celebrated destinations of St. Tropez and Cannes, and beloved...

  • Rhône

      Located along a section of the Rhone river in southeastern France, this is really two regi...

  • Savoie

    Vin de Savoie is an Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) situation in the Alps. The wines from...

  • South West France

    South West France, or Sud Ouest, is a large expanse that covers several districts within the co...

  • Aquitaine and Charentes

  • Auvergne

Popular Wineries in France View all

  • Château Timberlay

    Château Timberlay (appellation Bordeaux Supérieur) is located in Saint-Andre-de-Cubzac. It symbol...

  • Château Saint Christophe

    The Château Saint-Christophe is an independent family-owned vintner from the Bordeaux area in F...

  • Cordier

    United since the merger of two century-old trading houses, Cordier and Mestrezat.The Cordier Mest...

  • Clos de l'Oratoire des Papes

    Patience, know-how, observation, intuition...these are the skills required to make and age our wi...

  • Albert Boxler

    Albert Boxler is a 300-year-old family winery in the small town of Niedermorschwihr. The domaine ...

  • Lamothe

    We had this wine while in the Bahamas and loved it. Would like to know where we can purchase it...

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France on Snooth

  • Iam fairly new to french wine. I am looking to start expanding my french wine knowledge. I would love any suggestions.

    Comment by 7964231francophile 796423 1francophile


  • Jean Baptiste Thibault La Duchesne Sancerre Rouge 2013

    Snoothrank:

    I bought this bottle of wine from a shop the last time I was in Calais for 10 euros.Sancerre is an AOC created in 1936 [although viticulture here goes back to at least the Romans] for white wines made of the sauvignon blanc grape from 15 communes around the small hilltop town of that name on the west bank of the Loire river about 80 miles south... Read More

    Wine review by duncan 906


  • Le Vendangeoir Saint Nicolas-de-Bourgueil 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Great raspberry scent on this Touraine wine with similar red berry flavours on entry. The wine is somewhat light and cheerful - perfect for drinking alone or with light meat dishes. Excellent price - especially for downtown Paris. 86 points. Read More

    Wine review by zufrieden


  • Cuvee de 3 Messes Basses Blanc Rhone Valley France 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Opened this nice, inexpensive Rhone white for a little apertif prior to heading to my 35 year service award dinner later this evening. Fairly simple with a nice floral nose, a bit fruit forward on the tongue with lemon, a touch of green melon, decent acidity and a medium finish which has a little cooking spice thing on the back of the throat. T... Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0


  • Domaine Gentile Muscat du Cap Corse 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Dashed with brandy at the beginning of fermentation, this brilliantly balanced fortified wine with a plush palate easily hides its 16% abv with mouthwatering acidity. Though four years old, it is still quite fresh on the nose, showing orange peel, exotic sweet spice and peak-of-summer peaches. Between the layers of nuance and the medium finish, ... Read More

    Wine review by Christy Canterbury MW


  • Domaine d'Alzipratu Fiume-Seccu Rouge 2014

    Snoothrank:

    This wine offers an enveloping nose of forest berries, black cherries, scrub bush and dried herbs. Its round mid-palate is countered with lightly tugging and vaguely drying tannins. Its racy acidity makes this super quaffable, ideal for a picnic, life fare or sipping any time. Its finish is moderate and super savory. Read More

    Wine review by Christy Canterbury MW


  • Jean-Charles Abbatucci Générale de la Révolution Cuvée Collection Blanc 2012

    Snoothrank:

    This wine has an impeccable, seamless balance of all its elements. Its riveting acidity dazzles and plays easily with the mid-palate's lovely roundness. Floral, ginger and baking spice elements dominate the nose. The palate specifically tastes of cinnamon with a discreet touch of smoke. The fruits are an enticing mash of white peach, persimmon, ... Read More

    Wine review by Christy Canterbury MW


  • Alain Corrèges Domaine de Vaccelli Granit Rosé 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Made on right and southern bank of the Tarave valley, this wine hails from western Corsica, south of Ajaccio. There's a touch of wet wool on the nose followed by strawberry Jolly Rancher and watermelon sorbet on the palate. With a touch of viscosity and a prominently juicy mid-palate, this is nothing short of lovely. It's rosé with a big bang of... Read More

    Wine review by Christy Canterbury MW


  • Clos Venturi 1769 Blanc 2014

    Snoothrank:

    From chilly terroir located at about 500m in the center of the island, this unusual white comes from gray schiste and clay soils. It provides an explosion of flavors, including cotton candy, white peach and nectarine fuzz. Its piercing acidity lifts the nicely round extract that sits right in the middle of the palate. The medium finish suggests ... Read More

    Wine review by Christy Canterbury MW


  • Alain Corrèges Domaine de Vaccelli Granit Rouge 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Made on right and southern bank of the Tarave valley, this wine hails from western Corsica, south of Ajaccio. There's a touch of wet wool on the nose followed by strawberry Jolly Rancher and watermelon sorbet on the palate. With a touch of viscosity and a prominently juicy mid-palate, this is nothing short of lovely. It's rosé with a big bang of... Read More

    Wine review by Christy Canterbury MW


  • La Croix de Mission Domaine des Rochelles Anjou-Villages Brissac 2008

    Snoothrank:

    I bought this bottle of wine from a shop in London's Chelsea [ www.hhandc.co.uk ] for £12.50.Anjou is an AOC created in 1987 [although viticultuture in the area goes back centuries ] for red,white,rose and sparkling wines from 150 communes around the town of Angers in the Loire valley.It is an ' umbrella' AOC because it includes a number of smal... Read More

    Wine review by duncan 906


  • Just found out my 90 yr old mil would love to have a bottle of Chassagne-Montrachet as her father was originally from France and she thinks there might be a connection to the wineries. I would like to get a nice bottle for her (approx. $40 - 50). Am in the 21222 zipcode and can't find anything near me.

    Comment by 1429001Sharyn Jenkins 1429001 Sharyn Jenkins


  • where in the uk can we obtain clos siguier, a malbec?

    Comment by 983342mitmann 983342 mitmann


  • OMG. Thats where wine comes from. Huge varienty and quality to go around and around. My favorite wines come from France. Yay!

    Comment by 936723WineauxSlave 936723 WineauxSlave


  • New image uploaded to this page.

    Page modification by 868380songwx 868380 songwx


  • appellation-a-vent Stuart Imports Chateau Des Jaque J Thorin 1959 Magnum

    Comment by 744135Lila Meyers 744135 Lila Meyers


  • Just had a bottle of Chateau Des Gravies 1999 with dinner at Christmas Eve. It was fantastic, well balanced and great finish.

    Comment by 696084Rkato 696084 Rkato


  • Let’s face it, this is may be the most intimidating problem facing a prospective wine buyer, either at a restaurant, wine store or wine auction. You probably don’t remember French pronunciation, but if you are lucky you may have some other Romantic language under your belt. Here is a list of some basic terms and their pronunciation: * Amon...

    Comment by 629309MadBistro 629309 MadBistro


  • "Ridiculously cheap" yet "drinkable" - how often do you find those phrases together in connection with French wine? See them dance together on the Sediment blog at www.sedimentblog.com

    Comment by 546548Sedimentblog 546548 Sedimentblog


  • Love France - love French wine!

    Comment by 345074Sweetie22 345074 Sweetie22


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