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

  • Château Paul Mas

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

  • Lamothe

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

  • 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...

  • Alexis Lichine

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

Page 4 of 1,000

France on Snooth

  • Shiraz.  Australian for wine.That's pretty funny.Thank you, Rex and ... might have been brought to France from Persia, but there does not seem to be any substance to these fables.I did a bit more searching on Persian/Iranian wines and could not come up with any real connection to Syrah.  I thought I hit paydirt in a discussion of Shirazi Wines... Read More

    Forum post in the topic What is a Shiraz?


  • Yep. It came from France so people just called it what they called it in France, same as Merlot and Chardonnay. Used to be called Hermitage too but not so much any more.Nobody seems to have a clear idea why the Australians call it Shiraz. Good grape by any name though. Read More

    Forum post in the topic What is a Shiraz?


  • Domaine Michel Juillot Mercurey Villages 2001

    Snoothrank:

    This bottle was part of a lot I bought on the website www.bidforwine.co.uk/auctions/show/64264. Mercurey is an AOC created in 1936 for red and white wines [though 90% of production is red ] from the communes of Mercurey and St Martin sous Montaigue on the Cotes Chalonaise in Burgundy.There are 32 Premier Cru vineyards but no Grand Cru.Domaine Mi... Read More

    Wine review by duncan 906


  • Chateau d'Esclans Cotes de Provence Whispering Angel Rose 2010

    Snoothrank:

    ONE OF THE BEST ROSE'S, DRY AND LIGHT , RIPE AND A WONDERFUL TOUCH OF GRENACHETO PLEASE ANY LIGHT DRINKING PREFERABLE CUSTOMER. PROVENCE IS THE PLACE FOR LOOKING OF ROSE' WINES Read More

    Wine review by Birgitta Thorild


  • DRC Richeboug poured just fine. Circa 1980. - whoops sorry for the France blurp..-- I propose that some Vinters and Vineyards of S Cal. Do produce such capability. Artesian and Burgundy's majesty can be found in California And the value outweighs a 350-500$$ USD collectable and storable Cabernet or Bordeaux wine. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Single Varietal vs. Bordeaux...


  • The '80 thru '84 vertical, all reserve, was last year.  Still in ... only possible these days in France or Switzerland or some other nearby area where great cellars have kept great wines lying in comfor Read More

    Forum post in the topic Single Varietal vs. Bordeaux...


  • Hob Nob Pinot Noir 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Full fruit with very light tannins. Can't beat it for the price. Read More

    Wine review by dontdivedrunk


  • Next time I do an '80s vertical from Chalone I won't invite you, NG! ... form the '90s, or does France get a pas Read More

    Forum post in the topic Single Varietal vs. Bordeaux...


  • Reserve Mouton Cadet Saint-Emilion 2009

    Snoothrank:

    This bottle of wine was on special offer at my local supermarket before Christmas so I bought a bottle. The House of Rothschild originally introduced a negociant wine called 'Mouton Cadet ' in 1932 under the Pauillac AOC but in 1947 with grapes being sourced from further afield it was labelled as a Bordeaux AOC.In 2007 A reserve Mouton Cadet S... Read More

    Wine review by duncan 906


  • It made for a nasty headache the next day.NG - You crack me up.  I suppose ... experienced sommeliers in France able to identify just about everything related to a particular blind tasting of a Bordeaux wine, but then they are totally lost when it comes to some new world wine.  We all need to expand our horizons and 'drink outside the box' as i... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Have you taken a blind wine...


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