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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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

  • 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...

  • Château de Pommard

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

  • Arrogant Frog

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

  • Lamothe

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

  • 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

  • No written review

    Forum post in the topic It seems I am off to France


  • Jon D - this one if for you!  Read More

    Forum post in the topic It seems I am off to France


  • JonD- good to know about the 2010. I guess I was uncovering  that ... ... ... find in a store, even in France. &nbs Read More

    Forum post in the topic It seems I am off to France


  • 2010 really is a special vintage for red and white Burgundy. Read More

    Forum post in the topic It seems I am off to France


  • This one was great buttery smoothand opened especially for me but the 2010 in the background I liked better for its raw flavor.  Read More

    Forum post in the topic It seems I am off to France


  • JonD- Yes, the 08 Picard Meursault Premier Cru was one of the wines that starts with a small explosion and grows all the way down the throat real earthy a taste not so easily achieved in a white. But arguably these "M" wines could be the very best of the best whites. The 2012 Chassagne-Montrachet "Les Vergers" 1er Cru that they served to me at t... Read More

    Forum post in the topic It seems I am off to France


  • Montrachet, Meursault 1ers, and Cortons, Ho Ho!Yes you are killing it. Any highlights? That '08 Meursault 1er Genevrieres must've been great. Some other really nice wines in there too. Read More

    Forum post in the topic It seems I am off to France


  • The meal was a salade maison which indeed was confined with a meursault, the bubbly, and one of the biggest surprises of he trip, a 2015 lowly Bourgogne Aligoté, very crisp and pleasant. Maybe I was just thirsty?the bread was to die for and u swear the earthy taste of the salad ingredients matched the wine perfectly . Probably psychological. May... Read More

    Forum post in the topic It seems I am off to France


  • DMC- could be a family thing about the "black rose" as I have never seen it elsewhere. Yes, region is known to be cloudy and the last days did not disappoint. I picked the Pommard because the Chateau is beautiful and there is a concentration of labels close together that I really like. For sure, there are many other gems in the region that I did... Read More

    Forum post in the topic It seems I am off to France


  • Finally a bottle (if not a vintage) I've had multiple versions of (the Hospices de Beaune Batard)! Some of your labels above I've yet to try (have had multiples of Picard and the related Au Pied de Mont Chauve, but maybe no CB--trying to dredge up a murky memory--and absolutely none of its related Louis Nie brandings). Basically with those four ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic It seems I am off to France


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