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

  • Pinot Noir

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

  • 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...

  • Syrah

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

  • 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

  • Albert Boxler

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

  • Château Saint Christophe

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

  • Arrogant Frog

    Arrogant Frog was born in the Herault Valley in Languedoc in the south of France, near the Medite...

  • Champagne Demoiselle Vranken

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

  • Château Paul Mas

    For over 170 years, González Byass has committed itself to research and quality for its range of ...

  • Château De Seguin

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

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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


  • Cha du Glana St Julien 2009

    Snoothrank:

    Finding a St. Julien of this quality is difficult at this price - or any price. The inviting plum and blackberry scent has a purity that is not disappointed on the palate - for, with steel and plum - and a little brambleberry - the taste is light and elegant. Underrated. 90 points. Read More

    Wine review by zufrieden


  • 2010 Chateau Lanessan 2010

    Snoothrank:

    Here is yet another highly rated 2010 Red Bordeaux that does not deliver. Cedar and leather nose with some plum. Lighter body style, soft tannin, austere but with a medicinal note that is not enjoyable. After tasting many 2009 and 2010 Bordeaux, I cannot agree with the famous wine writers about the quality of these vintages. Seems like corruptio... Read More

    Wine review by Zuiko


  • Chateau Clement-Pichon Haut-Medoc 1999

    Snoothrank:

    I bought this bottle of wine for £12 from a wine merchant in Sussex.Haut-Medoc is a large AOC set up in 1936 for wines produced in 15 communes on the eastern side of the Medoc peninsular stretching nearly 40 miles north of the city of Bordeaux.It is an 'umbrella ' AOC because it includes several smaller but more prestigious appellations such as ... Read More

    Wine review by duncan 906


  • I am another who likes calvados.Last year at the London France show [ thefranceshow.com ] there was a stand where one could taste and purchase several versions and I am hoping he is there again this coming January. I usually go to France once a year and I always order a glass in whatever hotel I am in as no hotel,bar or restaurant in France is w... Read More

    Forum post in the topic What have you bought lately?


  • I don't know if anyone else here has a taste for Calvados, but to me ... ... poise and balance -- one of France’s best spirits. John Rankin  |  3 in stock  |  $159.99 Camut Calvados Pays d'Auge Réserve de Semainville 25 ans d'âge This bottling shows warm, baked apple flavors with delicious layers of oak and honey. The finish lasts and lasts, a... Read More

    Forum post in the topic What have you bought lately?


  • Be prepared to laugh,and ... were russian but they said France on the label. There was a old one that was real old. Everyone says old wine is supposed to be the best but this was the first one we tried and it wasn't so grate. Kind of dirty and gritty. Smelled real cool though. I had a whole glass with nothing but mom added soda water for her se... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Next party I have will be BGE...


  • Richebourg 1980

    Snoothrank:

    2nd thought. 1980 Now.(2014-5) ? DRC gets 5 Five Glasses. Read More

    Wine review by William Djubin


  • Richebourg 1980

    Snoothrank:

    Unreal that this Burgundy entered my venue. Thanks for the taste.The Cork was an issue but the wine was still "DRC Richebourg" and a step above other Burgundys. Read More

    Wine review by William Djubin


  • V V:  Sandra and I are signed up for a Viking River Cruise in April 2015. ... 2015.  We start in Lyon France and end in Avignon, France with an added 3-day extension in Nice France (basically a  few extra days in the French Rivera).  This will take us through the Burgundy region of Franc Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • Seguinot-Bordet Chablis Vieilles Vignes 2005

    Snoothrank:

    This was a bargain and comes out with a nice honey/gold color in the glass. It has a bit of a smokey/lemony nose and honeysuckle, a touch of creamy lemon and a bit of honey on the palate. Nowhere near the Cru level but for less than $20 this is a very nice entry level chablis. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0


  • 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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