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

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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

  • Michel Picard

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

  • Cordier

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

  • Champagne Demoiselle Vranken

    Built on the hamlet of Les Demoiselles, the Château des Castaignes produces the DEMOISELLE vintag...

  • Alexis Lichine

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

  • Albert Boxler

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

  • Château Timberlay

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

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France on Snooth

  • La Chablisienne Chablis la Pierrelee 2013

    Snoothrank:

    So what's not to like about this typical - yet meritorious - Chablis from the modern, quality-driven La Chablisienne cooperative? Lots of wet stone, spicy white fruit and apple on the nose and, well, a satisfying apple/gooseberry-like entry and finish. No harshness or watery crapulence here... better than some Premier Cru. 89 points. Read More

    Wine review by zufrieden


  • Wow.  Very cool, BLM. Read More

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


  • Don't - though it was fun reading the posts of those that hadn't ... ... ... view of the grape - USA, France,Spain and Australia, et al to show the stylistic differences and tastes of the grape grown in different area Read More

    Forum post in the topic Garnacha Virtual Tour Sept 16th


  • BLM, you're killin' it!  Now you really have me yearning to get back to Cote de Beaune and especially Puligny Montrachet, maybe next summer if things work out right. Keep enjoying yourself and keep the notes and pics coming. Read More

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


  • Finally I hit the jackpot. A couple with a 21 month old daughter picked up on my enthusiasm and we got on a roll. They opened up a special tasting room for me and we opened bottle after bottle, more than a dozen.   Read More

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


  • No written review

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


  • No written review

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


  • C   My lunch place. Very, very nice and secluded.   Read More

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


  •  On a side street of Pommard I found this small shop with an open door and enter sign. No one around so I waited patiently, the wine was set up very nicely so finally I poured myself a few fingers of the 2007. Very nice but not as explosive as I would have guessed.  Read More

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


  • No written review

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


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