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

  • Pinot Noir

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

  • 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...

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

  • 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...

  • Cordier

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

  • Michel Picard

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

  • Moët & Chandon

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

  • 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 ...

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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


  • Louis Latour Domaine de Valmoissine Pinot Nior France 2013

    Snoothrank:

    a very bold and pleasant vibrant pinot noir. Read More

    Wine review by Pickit4flavor


  • Cave de Tain St. Péray 2013

    Snoothrank:

    I bought this bottle of wine from a shop in London [www.nicolas.co.uk ] for £10.Saint Peray is a small appellation [the whole appellation only has 58 hectares under vine ] created in 1936 for still and sparkling wines from the two communes of Saint Peray and Toulard on the west bank of the northern Rhone valley made from a blend of the roussanne... Read More

    Wine review by duncan 906


  • Pfaff Pinot Gris Tradition 2013

    Snoothrank:

    The Pfaff Pinot Gris is a worthy quaff - especially if you are eating shellfish or light meat entrees. It is off-dry, with an apricot nose and slightly confit-oriented apricot-peach flavour dominating the entry. Good summer sipper that won a gold medal in 2014. 86 points. Read More

    Wine review by zufrieden


  • The Alto Adige is where I was talking about having had good pinot grigio ... ... ways similar to Savoie in France where you get all those alpine flowery notes and minerality and other points of interest in relatively unknown whites.Mike, you mentionZemmer,Castelfeder, andDonna Almafrom the Alto Adige. I've had the Zemmer and Castelfeder, both ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Is Pinot Grigio Underrated?


  • I've had so many nasty Cabernet-Shiraz blends, mostly from down under, that ... ... the history, even in France, but too many green, stemmy, gaggy, hot, listing-in-the-wrong-direction monstrosities have really been nothing but downer Read More

    Forum post in the topic Masters of Wine - Syrah Panel...


  • Domaine Grand Nicolet Cotes-du-Rhone 2011

    Snoothrank:

    The 2011 Grand Nicolet CdR is a fine, succulent - even slightly sweet Grenache Noir-based wine sourced through Marquis Wines (Vancouver BC) about 2-3 years back. These wines would go well with the younger set; they have gobs of damson plum, dark cherry and eucalyptus on the palate and sugarplum on the nose. Quite typical, though quality is a n... Read More

    Wine review by zufrieden


  • Kuhlmann-Platz Gewurztraminer 2014

    Snoothrank:

    This Hunawihr Gewurztraminer is very tasty; an off-dry, apple-cinnamon flavoured quaff with a very noticeable scent of (wild) rosewater. Very easy drinking and one of the few wines I would recommend with most San Francisco-style Chinese, Thai and even Sushi (sans wasabi). Worth seeking out for the price 87 points. Read More

    Wine review by zufrieden


  • Bernard Faurie Hermitage Bessards/Meal 2009

    Snoothrank:

    I bought this bottle of wine from the website www.bidforwine.co.uk/auctions/show/97002. Hermitage is an appellation created in 1937,although viticulture here goes back centuries,for red and white wines fromthe slopes of the hill by the town of Tain on the east bank of the Rhone river about 40 miles south of Lyon.It is a very prestigious appellat... Read More

    Wine review by duncan 906


  • Mauvais Garcon Bad Boy 2009

    Snoothrank:

    Slightly less than 3 years ago but still very, very good. Lovely dark berry fruit, moderate tannins with well balanced acidity, wood, mushrooms (This has developed over the last 2-3 yrs. Plenty of power through and a nice flushing aftertaste. Drink now - Paul 91 points Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951


  • Mauvais Garcon Bad Boy 2009

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by Stubs66


  • 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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