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 Paul Mas

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

  • Alexis Lichine

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

  • Michel Picard

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

  • Château de Pommard

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

  • Château Saint Christophe

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

  • 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

  • Morin Pére et Fils Pinot Noir 2014

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by LetUsTaste


  • Guigal Crozes Hermitage 2010

    Snoothrank:

    Pop and pour it was a bit shy on the nose but black and blue fruit were there. Good fruit on the palate and a bit earthy. Mid palate balancing acids took over and finished with enjoyable tannins. Old world in style, nice enjoyable wine but not particularly complex. Read More

    Wine review by RandyFisher


  • Bernard Magrez Oustric Sauvignon Blanc 2013

    Snoothrank:

    slight sulfur on nose, mild with some minerals Read More

    Wine review by Dennis Lim


  • Mouton-Cadet Blanc 2014

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by eaglebass


  • Château Lilian Ladouys Rouge 2010

    Snoothrank:

    This relatively new property in the most northerly Bordeaux Commune of Saint Estephe seems to evoke lukewarm reviews; yet, the wine from 2010 seems quite well done: it has a nice blackberry and currant nose followed by a soft, silky entry with low tannin and a hint of vanilla, plum and other dark fruit. Rather typical, in fact. Will last 2-5 ... Read More

    Wine review by zufrieden


  • Technically these were last night but I finished the last tastes of the reds ... ... Dujac Morey St. Denis - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Morey St. Denis (8/5/2016)Night one was like a trip to the County Fair. Day 2 muted fruit, dried cherries and dried flowers, tart red berries, steely/crushed rock minerality with some chalk on the finis... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • Vosne-Romanee Jaboulet-Vercherre 1982

    Snoothrank:

    I bought this bottle of venerable old Burgundy from the website www.bidforwine.co.uk/auctions/show/104313 for £22.50.Vosne-Romanee is an appellation created in 1936 [ although viticulture here goes back to at least the Romans ] for red wines made of the pinot noir grape from the communes of Vosne-Romanee and its neighbour Flagey-Echezeaux on the... Read More

    Wine review by duncan 906


  • Malartic Lagraviere 90js 2005

    Snoothrank:

    Well, Chateau Malartic has done Robert Parker proud: the smoky, luscious boudoir-like scent clinging to a bed of plum and cherry (you pick - cherry flan is my choice) is followed by a silky entry of cherry and wild red fruit such as lingonberry. Some tannin for further cellaring, but perfect now. A truly wonderful wine at 11 years. 93 points. Read More

    Wine review by zufrieden


  • Paul Bara Brut Rose Champagne "Grand Rose" Bouzy Grand Cru NV

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by anchca


  • Chateau Sauvetat-Loumer Premieres Cotes de Blaye 2000

    Snoothrank:

    This bottle of wine was part of a lot I bought on the website www.bidforwine.co.uk/auctions/show/85406.Three AOC's,Blaye,Cotes de Blaye, and Premieres Cotes de Blaye [ the latter for the more prestigious properties ] were created in 1936 and they all refer to 40 communes around the town of Blaye on the east side of the Gironde estuary in the Bor... Read More

    Wine review by duncan 906


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