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

Mary John Baumann, DWS

Accredited wine expert with advanced wine education, sales and lecturing talent. Creative marketer with demonstrated success in global marketing and development of leading multinational luxury brands.

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Popular wines made in France under $20

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Varietals Produced in France View all

  • Merlot

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

  • 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...

  • 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...

Subregions of France

  • Alsace

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

  • 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...

  • South West France

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

  • Aquitaine and Charentes

  • Armagnac

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

  • Auvergne

Popular Wineries in France View all

  • Château De Seguin

    Château de Seguin in Bordeaux is part of the CHRIS-WINE Group. An indenpendent and family owned w...

  • Champagne Demoiselle Vranken

    Built on the hamlet of Les Demoiselles, the Château des Castaignes produces the DEMOISELLE vintag...

  • Clos de l'Oratoire des Papes

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

  • Michel Picard

    Picard Père et Fils is one of the largest wine producers and négociants in Burgundy and, with nea...

  • Château de Pommard

    Today, Château de Pommard is the largest private vineyard in Bourgogne. Its 20 hectares of wines ...

  • Moët & Chandon

      Moet & Chandon is one of the most well-known luxury champagne producers in the word. Wi...

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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


  • Incidentally, some interesting commentary by John Gilman in response to a ... ... Château Ausone - France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru (4/21/2014)I'm not really sure where to go from here with this producer though: the estate famously was asleep at the wheel from the mid-60's until it was sold in 1997, and the wines since then ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Epic Barolo


  • Welcome to the Snooth Forum, Minky.  And congratulations on composing an ... examples from California, France (the Loire regions of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume) and New Zealand.  I'm sure you will get more good advice from other contributors.Oh, and your close sent me to Google to find out what "slainte" means.  Thank yo Read More

    Forum post in the topic Hello Snooth!


  • Chateau le Boscq 2008

    Snoothrank:

    For 2008, Chateau le Boscq has produced a patent-like St-Estephe with the usual tobacco, cassis and cedar notes on the nostrils with a relatively tame entry of light tannins, blackcurrant and cigar. Good medium finish Drink now. 88 points. Read More

    Wine review by zufrieden


  • Well said Greg.Dave, I'd love to try a '61 Latour some day...I'm ... think of CdP as the Paso of France. I didn't have a reference point for the spongy quality of the nose on the Oddero other than an '89 Beaucastle shared with Fox and OT a couple years bac Read More

    Forum post in the topic Epic Barolo


  • Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey Rully "Les Cailloux" 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Very clear pale yellow color.Quite "fresh," "citrusy" nose. Very delightful on the palate--not terribly fruity, but rather light and refreshing. Crisp acidity was me to continue drinking. This wine exemplifies my position that U.S. producers are missing the boat when it comes to wines made from Chardonnay grapes. US$33.99 at the Wine Club in... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Clos des Lunes Bordeaux Blanc Lune d'Argent 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Astringent, low fruit, crisp finish. Read More

    Wine review by flyinggrapes


  • Cave de Lugny Macon-Lugny les Charmes 2010

    Snoothrank:

    Decent but not great macon lugny chardonnay. Hints of lemon cream and little minerality, medium acidity and short to medium finish. Not bad for the price but nothing special either. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0


  • Chateau Malartic-lagraviere Graves Blancs Pessac-léognan 2006

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by Anupong


  • Domine Saladin Cotes du Rhone Villages Fan de Lune 2006

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by jeffmacintyre


  • Château la Grolet Côtes du Bourg 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Biodynamic 70% Merlot 30% Cabernet Sauvignon Smoky, earthy and complex on the nose with floral, sweet grass, and dried herb aromas framing a subtle core of strawberry and black currant fruit all topped with a sprig of mint. Soft on entry, with fine ripe tannins and well integrated acids supporting this medium bodied and transparent wine. rather ... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz


  • 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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