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...

  • 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...

  • 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

  • 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...

  • Cordier

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

  • Michel Picard

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

  • Alexis Lichine

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

  • Château Timberlay

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

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France on Snooth

  • JD - you can't tell. I've done a few tastings of Cote Rotie vs ... ... that's what they did in France - there's no real need to do that blend any more since we understand a lot more about what is happening chemically with grapes. But as mentioned, some are pretty goo Read More

    Forum post in the topic Viognier


  • Domaine Jean-Jacques Girard Savigny les Beaune 2011

    Snoothrank:

    This bottle was part of a lot I bought on the website www.bidforwine.co.uk/auctions/show/106044. Savigny-les-Beaune is an appellation created in 1937 [although there has been viticulture here since at least the Romans ] for both red and white wines [although over 80% are red ] from the commune of that name on the Cotes de Beaune in Burgundy. The... Read More

    Wine review by duncan 906


  • JD, don't knock that co-fermentation, IMHO it really does add positive ... ... ... Three zones for focus: France, Oz and West Coast of North America. Historically I've also been of the school of thought that, other than in Chateau Grillet's bottlings, viognier's best use was spiffing up a syrah blend...  ; Read More

    Forum post in the topic Viognier


  • Bonnet-Huteau Muscadet-Sèvre et Maine la Tarciere Sur Lies 2015

    Snoothrank:

    This seaside (Nantais) wine is from a respected domaine and has a little musk and more depth than the usual Muscadet. The flavour is quite neutral, although also dense for such a wine, with some nuttiness (due to the lies, no doubt).Not particularly fresh-tasting and a bit flat, but there is white fruit such as gooseberry, a little white pepper... Read More

    Wine review by zufrieden


  • Bouchard Père & Fils Mâcon-Lugny St Pierre 2015

    Snoothrank:

    This modestly priced Macon from the commune of Lugny is highly representative of the style of southern Burgundy with a slightly spicy apple nose and a buttery, apple entry, with a moderate, nutshell finish. Above average and from a good vintage. Best of all, the price is right. 88. Read More

    Wine review by zufrieden


  • Château d'Arcins Red Bordeaux Blend Haut-Médoc 2008

    Snoothrank:

    Very nice, getting up there in age, probobly a bit over its prime Read More

    Wine review by dunbarindc


  • MY FIRST VISIT TO BERN'S STEAKHOUSE - Tampa (4/8/2017)Like any true ... ... Brune et Blonde - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-RôtieMy first choice in a Rhone was for a Cornas but they didn't have one with age that fit into my budget so the Somm picked this one. Never had this wine with age so the contrast to my previous tastes was interes... Read More

    Forum post in the topic The wine geeks holy grail, I...


  • Rene Junot White NV

    Snoothrank:

    Crisp and dry, but still fruity. Definitely benefits from the chenin blanc grapes. Served chilled, it makes a good spring wine. Read More

    Wine review by ChaseConnor


  • Chateau Ferriere Margaux 1999

    Snoothrank:

    I bought this bottle of wine from the website www.bidforwine.co.uk/auctions/show/104037 for £19. Margaux is an appellation created in 1938,although there has been viticulture here since the Romans,for red wines from 5 communes around the village of that name on the eastern side of the Medoc peninsular about 15 miles north of the City of Bordeaux... Read More

    Wine review by duncan 906


  • I like a good viognier and have been drinking them for quite awhile now. I like ... ... that the best ones from France are priced accordingly - worth it - don't know haven't bought a really expensive one in years now.As wine making continues to improve the mid-price offerings have improved dramatically so generally speaking I stay there.Good t... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Viognier


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