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

  • Château Saint Christophe

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

  • Château de Pommard

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

  • Albert Bichot

    From !#%0, the Bichot family was established in Burgundy, with a deer as a symbol. is is only in ...

  • Château Timberlay

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

  • Alexis Lichine

    Alexis Lichine was a Russian-born wine writer and entrepreneur, who made many important contrib...

  • 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

  • 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


  • Les Dauphins Cotes du Rhone Reserve 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Great everyday wine, affordable, and pairs easily with hearty meats. Read More

    Wine review by mayyoke79


  • Chateau Belair St. Emilion Grand Cru Classe 2005

    Snoothrank:

    This classic Grand Cru opens up well with a beautiful, sparkling cherry red colour and an omnipresent nose of cranberry, cedar and sweet cherry. Entry carries a slightly sweet cherry pie plus earthy notes which finish medium on the palate. Truly delicious and perfect now - although one could hold for 2-3 more years on account of some lingering ... Read More

    Wine review by zufrieden


  • Henri Bourgeois Cabernet Franc Petit Bourgeois 2011

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by gomariago


  • Les Villages de Jaffelin Pernard-Vergelesses 1995

    Snoothrank:

    This bottle was part of a lot I bought on the website www.bidforwine.co.uk/auctions/show/64264. Pernard-Vergelesses is a commune at the northern end of the Cotes de Beaune in Burgundy which contains the three Grand Cru vineyards of Charlemagne,Corton and Corton-Charlemagne but these have their own AOCs.The rest of the commune does have an AOC gr... Read More

    Wine review by duncan 906


  • Ok.  It's been quite a busy weekend with visiting the mother-in-law ... from the Burgundy region of France so that's important to me as I want to try more of the Burgundy wines before we head over there in April next year.&nbs Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • Jonathan Maltus Garagiste 2012

    Snoothrank:

    A Naked Wine Selection and a very nice one at that. Opens with ripe plum, cherry jam, and earth & wood, that become more intense with a few swirls of the glass. Medium acidity and tannins and great round mouthfeel. Continues to develop more over time with added bits of spice and green peppercorn. A pleasant, well rounded softness and balance to ... Read More

    Wine review by puhnner


  • Le Grand Noir Cabernet-Shiraz Blend Vin de Pays d'Oc Cabernet-Shiraz 2008

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by dmele


  • Chateau le Ferreau Belair Cotes de Bourg 2010

    Snoothrank:

    I bought this bottle of wine from a shop in London's Kensington [www.thesampler.co.uk ]Cotes de Bourg is an AOC created in 1936 although there is a record of winemaking in the area as long ago as the 2nd century AD, from a large area of 15 communes around the small town of Bourg-sur-Gironde.This is located on the east or right bank of the Dordog... Read More

    Wine review by duncan 906


  • Results from last nights battle of the Rhones - Viva La France! Hate to say it since I'm a club member at Tablas, but the French outshone the Americans last night. In the white category, the 2013 Domaine Roche-Audran Côtes du Rhône Villages edged the 2012 Tablas Creek Esprit de Tablas Blanc by having a few more layers and a nice hit of spice (wh... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekend Wines


  • Do you have any wine from corsica, please thanks

    Comment by 521945Jack Weisz 521945 Jack Weisz


  • chateau maucaillou

    Comment by 471975Melchizedek432 471975 Melchizedek432


  • For my tastes, living in the Washington, DC metro area, French wines have better value than California wines. I can find many French reds, particularly from the Rhone Valley, in the $15 to $20 price range that are better than anything I have had from California in that price range.

    Comment by 157728Whiffer 157728 Whiffer


  • We did a tasting last weekend and opened a "2004 Louis Jadot Clos Vougeot " - guys this burgundy is so elegant so well balanced - its like a velvetty caress of the most passionate lips ... you can taste the supple nuances of the grape and terroir as your tounge swirls around in her innate beauty ... you feel her warmth drip down your molars ...

    Comment by 255446neale1 255446 neale1


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  • Hi~i'm the new member..can anyone willing to tell me what type of wine can pair with this food: oysters served with fresh horseradish creme and lemon wedges...thank you

    Comment by 254325youyu 254325 youyu


  • I agree with schellbe concerning Beaujolais, and you should try the AOC Chénas wines from Château des Jean-Loron. Here is the website : http://www.vins-de-bourgogne-sud.com You will find very original, typical and greedy wines.

    Comment by 250008SoPassionate 250008 SoPassionate


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