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

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

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...

  • Château De Seguin

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

  • Moët & Chandon

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

  • Albert Boxler

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

  • Cordier

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

  • Alexis Lichine

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

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France on Snooth

  • Chateau les Grands Thibauds Bordeaux


    Weird wine. When I first opened it, it tasted overwhelmingly like raw bread dough. Very strange. I thought it was bad, but tried it the next day before I went to throw it out. It had completely changed. It was quite delicious actually. Read More

    Wine review by calywa

  • Chateau les Sapins de Gaillou 2012


    Enjoyable Read More

    Wine review by calywa

  • Chateau Prieure du Monastir del Camp Rivesaltas 1950


    Another dessert wine had at Mercat Bistro...superb - beautiful in the glass, on the nose and in the mouth. Ripe strawberry and orange with toffee and licorice and some very ripe peach. Very reasonably priced.. Read More

    Wine review by puhnner

  • Chateau Suau Sauternes 2006


    Finished the meal at Mercat Bistro. Just a lovely Sauternes. Golden amber in the glass, thick and creamy, with sweet with scents and tastes of ripe pear and peach, and a back of raisin. Ridiculously low price. Read More

    Wine review by puhnner

  • "It was the most widely planted red variety in the world just a few years ... ... greatest by acreage in France. Merlot is firs Read More

    Forum post in the topic Garnacha, grenache--tomato,...

  • So Peter Mathis, who has worked at Ravenswood for eons, has his own grenache ... almost certainly came from France way back in the day, so they weren't necessarily high cropping clones.  It's really great and age-worthy.  I'd bring it to a tasting and see if anyone could guess where it came from.  I'm betting it would fool a lot of CdP lovers.... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Garnacha, grenache--tomato,...

  • I had a tuna salad this evening and I had a fairly unusal white wine with it. I ... Savoy.Savoy is that part of France south of Lake Geneva close to the Swiss border in the foothills of the Alps popular with skiers in the winter. and the jacquere grape is native to the area.It was made at the domaine of Jean-Pierre and Jean-Francois Quenard fro... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?

  • Jean-Pierre et Jean-Francois Quenard Chignin Vin de Savoie Anne de la Biguerne 2013


    I bought a bottle of this wine for £14.50 from a shop in London's Kensington [ ] The Savoie AOC covers a very large area south of Lake Geneva close to the Swiss border in the foothills of the Alps and includes four whole departments producing mainly white wines but also some reds and sparkling wines.My bottle was made at the ... Read More

    Wine review by duncan 906

  • Chambolle-Musigny Vielles Vignes Domaine J.M Fourrier 2007


    Smooth Read More

    Wine review by scwino

  • Château Camensac Red Bordeaux Blend Haut-Médoc 2006


    No written review

    Wine review by scwino

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