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

  • Merlot

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

  • 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...

  • Chardonnay

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

  • 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...

  • 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 Bichot

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

  • Champagne Demoiselle Vranken

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

  • Cordier

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

  • Château Timberlay

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

  • Château Paul Mas

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

  • Clos de l'Oratoire des Papes

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

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France on Snooth

  • DM, have to agree with the quality of Tannat from France vs. here statement although I do have a small vertical of Tablas Creek Tannat in the wine closet ('12, '13 & '14) that I'm looking forward to sampling in a couple years. Tannat is definitely known for its massive tannins and should only get better with some age.Adding to the weird Wednesda... Read More

    Forum post in the topic And now for something...


  • Tannat's better in France, but then I think that about Cahors vs. Argentina for Malbec, too. Though even in France it's not always easy to find good ones. Has been some demand for the last decade or two since its health benefits have been touted, but it's basically just grown south of Bordeaux towards Spain and its limited market hasn't forced c... Read More

    Forum post in the topic And now for something...


  • Antonin Rodet Red Burgundy 2015

    Snoothrank:

    I bought this bottle of wine from a local supermarket where it was on special offer at £12.Antonin Rodet is a large and well known Buirgundy house and this is one of their more basic cuvees I started it last night with my steak supper.There is plenty of a soft cherry and raspberry style fruit but it is not particularly full bodied although unobs... Read More

    Wine review by duncan 906


  • Alain Brumont Chateau Bouscasse Madiran 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Interesting wine. I get no fruit at all on the tip of my tongue. I do get some pretty serious tannin mid- to rear-palate. Im very OK with the lack of fruitit does taste like real wine. However, this wine seems to have no complexity, and, at the risk of being completely pretentious, no soul. On the other hand, its darned inexpensive. So, wh... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Shatter Grenache 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Excellent effort. Higher than most in alc.this does however, have plenty of fruit, spiciness and vanilla that lead to juicy acidity and smallish tannins. Not built for long term aging, drink through 2019 - 91 points - Paul Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951


  • Domaine la Croix Montjoie l'Impatiente Bourgogne Vézelay 2014

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by martins2002


  • Chateau Clos Cheval Brun Saint Emilion 1970

    Snoothrank:

    I was given this bottle of wine after a house clearance in Fulham,I thought it an unusual bottle because it is sqare sided rather than cylindrical. I do not know where in the house it was found but the level was almost into the neck and when I opened it the corkl was sodden with wine so I would surmise reasonable storage conditions.I have not be... Read More

    Wine review by duncan 906


  • Cuvée Anvis Visan Côtes du Rhône Villages 2015

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by martins2002


  • Sure - Here's one ... also sent an email off to France to see they'll tell me anything.2 Read More

    Forum post in the topic Bought a wine, need more info.


  • Domaine Lafage Grand Cuvee Rose 2016

    Snoothrank:

    The wine is made from a combination of Grenache, Grenache Gris, and Mourvedre grapes, hand-harvested from sixty-five to eighty year-old vines. Gentle direct press prevents bitterness. Even the taille (a type of juice produced during the pressing process that contains more tannin than sugar or acidity) is discarded. What we have here is bottle th... Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • 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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    Page modification by 119711KirklandCuvee 119711 KirklandCuvee


  • 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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