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

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

  • Sauvignon Blanc

    Sauvignon Blanc is widely grown in California -- at over 15,000 acres, it’s now the third most planted variety -- and...

  • Syrah

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

  • Merlot

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

  • 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

  • Arrogant Frog

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

  • Clos de l'Oratoire des Papes

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

  • Château Saint Christophe

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

  • Lamothe

    We had this wine while in the Bahamas and loved it. Would like to know where we can purchase it...

  • Moët & Chandon

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

  • Albert Bichot

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

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France on Snooth

  • Monthelie Premier Cru Sur la Velle Eric Boigelot 2003

    Snoothrank:

    I bought this bottle of wine from the website www.bidforwine.co.uk/auctions/show/86271 for £9. Monthelie is an AOC created in 1937 [although there has been viticulture here for centuries ] on the Cotes de Beaune in Burgundy for red and white wines made from pinot noir and chardonnay respectively from the commune of that name.This commune has a s... Read More

    Wine review by duncan 906


  • I'm going to be the contrarian and suggest riesling. Gewurztraminer can be ... different wine from southern France. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Delices and Gourmandises...


  • Chateau Bernadotte 2009

    Snoothrank:

    This 2009 Bernadotte is very good indeed; it is perfectly representative of the upper Medoc with some fir shank (perhaps white spruce), cherry, and organic soil on the nose. The entry gives a medium density with distinctive cherry and cedar mid-palate. Nice warm, slightly chewy, medium finish. Worthy. 89 points. Read More

    Wine review by zufrieden


  • Chateau Toulouze la Metaire Graves de Vayres 2007

    Snoothrank:

    I bought this bottle of wine from a shop in London's Clerckenwell [ www.theperfectcellar.com ] for £8. Graves de Vayres is an AOC in the Bordeaux region for red and white wines from the communes of Vayres and Arvevres on the west bank of the Dordogne river about 15 miles east of the City of Bordeaux.It should not be confused with the Graves AOC ... Read More

    Wine review by duncan 906


  • Hob Nob Pinot Noir Hobnob Vineyards 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Purchased at Polly's Supermarket. Not as puzzling as the Pierre Andre pinot noir. It was gulpable with the pizza and cheesy bread from Marco's. Yes, a low brow Saturday night dinner with friends in sweat shirts. Nobody complained about this bottle. Read More

    Wine review by raindance


  • Pierre Andre Bourgogne Pinot Noir "Vieilles Vignes" 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Purchased at Polly's Supermarket. Win some, lose some with Pinot Noir. This grape either knocks your socks off, or you get this puzzled look on your face after tasting it. This bottle was the latter. Rating it in the lower 1/4 of French Burgundy's (redundant, I know) I have consumed. Sorry Pierre, I will not revisit any wine from Mr. Andre. Read More

    Wine review by raindance


  • Yeah but it's tough. He said edge of the rust belt - not sure where exactly ... ... Cosme is obviously from France, and I believe it's by Louis Barruol, who produces wine all over the north and south Rhone, some from estate fruit and some as a negociant. It's pretty widely available but it's a perfect example of what happens when a wine shop o... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Best wines for under $20 by 89564GregT 89564 GregT


  • Chateau Saint Roch Lirac Cru de la Vallee du Rhone 2013

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by martins2002


  • here's also some decent stuff from New Mexico of all places. GregT - I ... family immigrated here from France...That Gruet is very decent.  I was surprised by that for the price.  I would recommend that for your selection, Joe.&nbs Read More

    Forum post in the topic Best wines for under $20


  • Chateau Clos des Conreries Bordeaux France Red Blend 2012

    Snoothrank:

    a perfect blend causing a smooth silky pleasant taste to across the palate. Read More

    Wine review by Pickit4flavor


  • 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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