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

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

  • 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...

  • 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...

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

  • Clos de l'Oratoire des Papes

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

  • 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 Timberlay

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

  • Albert Boxler

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

  • Château De Seguin

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

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France on Snooth

  • Sainte Marie Cotes de Provence les Roches Blanches 2012

    Snoothrank:

    I bought this bottle of wine back in January from a stall at the London France Show [ The Saint Tropez Rose Company ] selling wines from Provence.The Cotes de Provence got AOC status for red, white and rose wines in 1977 although wines have been made here since before the Romans.The Domaine is located about 15 miles west of Saint Tropez and take... Read More

    Wine review by duncan 906


  • Maison Schroder & Schyler Saint-Emilion Private Reserve 2011

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by WilhelmCF


  • Clos Canarelli Biancu Gentile Vin de France "Bg" 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Just tried this wine that I received locally on special order. It is a white ... the southern most winery in France. The grape used is Biancu Gentile, which is a rare Corsican variety. The wine is prepared in cement egg-shaped vats I found the wine very subtle, but quite tasty. Hints of lemon and chamomile, mixed with pear and melon, slightly... Read More

    Wine review by Lenez


  •  I don't remember where her wine was from but it was somewhere in France.LOL. I know that at least one of you really enjoyed his wine--and may have had too much. Update to a couple of my Forum posts. Polished off that Hendry and am now working on that Languecoc, tonight.  Both are rounder (I think much of the alcohol has evaporated from the Hend... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekend Wines


  • So, Valentine's Day has arrived at last.  We went out for both lunch ... from but it was somewhere in France.  Both were tasty, that's for sur Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekend Wines


  • Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Villages Flower Label 2011

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by doublefantasy


  • Goisot Sauvignon St Bris Exogyra Virgula 2010

    Snoothrank:

    I bought this bottle of wine from a shop in London's Clerkenwell [www.theperfectcellar.com ] for £12. Saint-Bris is an AOC created in 2003 for white wines made from sauvignon blanc and/or sauvignon gris from around the village of Saint- Bris-la-Vineux between Auxerre and Chablis.It is the only Burgundy AOC for sauvignon blanc although there ar... Read More

    Wine review by duncan 906


  • Thierry and Guy Pinot Noir Fat Bastard 2011

    Snoothrank:

    We enjoyed this light bodied Pinot Noir. It has heavy ripe red fruit aromas and flavors with light tannins on the back end. Great transition wine from winter to spring. Read our full review on our blog, Two Forks and a Corkscrew. Read More

    Wine review by twoforksandacorkscrew


  • Umm.... I think RBA may have been hacked here as well.   ... as in Illinois or France?  Read More

    Forum post in the topic Proper Pairings with...


  • Bernard Baudry Chinon les Granges 2012

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by martins2002


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