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

  • Syrah

    The irony here is that Syrah’s origins could give Carmen Sandiego a run for her international wallet. Syrah’s deepest...

  • Sauvignon Blanc

    Sauvignon Blanc is widely grown in California -- at over 15,000 acres, it’s now the third most planted variety -- and...

  • Pinot Noir

    “With so voluptuous a perfume, so sweet an edge, they make the blood run hot,” Joel Fleischman, wine columnist at Van...

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

  • Chardonnay

    British wine writer and critic, Jancis Robinson, once noted that throughout the 80’s and 90’s in the United States, C...

  • 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

  • Cordier

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

  • Château De Seguin

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

  • Arrogant Frog

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

  • Château Timberlay

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

  • Albert Bichot

    From !#%0, the Bichot family was established in Burgundy, with a deer as a symbol. is is only in ...

  • Alexis Lichine

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

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France on Snooth

  • I think the big issue with oaked Chardonnay is that people drink them too young ... integrate. Great Chablis of France are oaked and if they can overcome the premox issue are very tasty with some bottle age on them. IMHO, over-oaked white wines overpower the grape and don't show the wines true potentia Read More

    Forum post in the topic Unoaked vs Oaked Chardonnay


  • Jean-Luc Colombo Rose 2014

    Snoothrank:

    With an impressive read on the French label, it sounded like this rose' was worth a go. Colour was a bit of a warning, as most rose's I enjoy are a light to deep pink with a boarderline red. Scent was light, a bit floral and also concerning but taste is what matters. On the pour, it seemed very peach. Peach? Okay, trying not to judge a wine... Read More

    Wine review by Aegelis


  • Hi everyone, when I say I am a newbies, i'd say it's only been a few ... got a large shipment from France braught over over 100 different bottles of a selection of reds to try!&nbs Read More

    Forum post in the topic Newbie Wino with a lot to share!


  • Château Laujac Médoc 2010

    Snoothrank:

    This large Medoc estate at Begadan (350 ha) has produced a fine cabernet-based claret with a full orchestral retinue of tradition flavours including blackberry, tar and cigar tobacco. Grainy tannin on the long finish suggests further bottle aging is a good bet. 88 points. Read More

    Wine review by zufrieden


  • Domaine Jacky Marteau Sauvignon Blanc Touraine 2014

    Snoothrank:

    A Marks and Spencer selection purchased in Bruxelles. This Touraine is 100% Sauvignon Blanc with a musk and smoke nose typical of the region; flavour is dominated by musky grass with a salty finish. Very good value and recommended with fish or seafood. 88 points. Read More

    Wine review by zufrieden


  • Macon Village Reserve Collovray et Terrier 2013

    Snoothrank:

    This wine was served with the fish course at a wedding lunch I attended at the weekend.Macon Village is an AOC for white wines made from the chardonnay grape from 26 communes in the Maconnais ie. the area around the town of Macon in southern Burgundy.If all the grapes come from just one of these communes then the name of that commune may be name... Read More

    Wine review by duncan 906


  • Chateau Meyney Cru Bourgeois St-Estephe Cl 1995

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by BlakeO


  • René Sparr White Blend Alsace Aoc One 2007

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by Roberta1759


  • Châteauneuf-du-Pape Aoc Grands Classiques 2010

    Snoothrank:

    Nice wine for the price. Read More

    Wine review by PaTay


  • Château Saint-André Corbin Red Bordeaux Blend St. Georges-St. Émilion 1998

    Snoothrank:

    I bought this bottle of wine from a wine merchant in Sussex for £12. Saint Georges Saint Emilion is an AOC created in 1936 for red wines from around the hamlet of that name in the Montagne commune. It is the smallest of the four 'satellite ' Saint Emilion AOC's.My bottle comes from a well-established estate and consists of 75% merlot and 25% cab... Read More

    Wine review by duncan 906


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