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

  • 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...

  • Alexis Lichine

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

  • Château De Seguin

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

  • Michel Picard

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

  • Arrogant Frog

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

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France on Snooth

  • Gabriel Meffre Cotes-du-Rhone Blanc "Saint-vincent" 2015

    Snoothrank:

    A great aperitif for winter or late fall parties (Thanksgiving comes immediately to mind) that is tasty, easy quaffing and good for the budget. That describes this Gabriel Meffre Cotes-du-Rhone Blanc to a tee...with an orange rind and tisane nose and a follow-up panoply of flavours that include ginger, peach, honey and herbal tea. Finish is on... Read More

    Wine review by zufrieden


  • Marie Courtin Efflorescence Extra Brut 2010

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by Teppo


  • Rousseau Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru les Cazetiers 2011

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by Teppo


  • Comtes Lafon Meursault 2011

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by Teppo


  • Yes, I drink more muscadet with shellfish than anything else, it is crisp, ... ... ... excite me, oysters in France that have always been good, although I was never sure where they came from, and also in Tokyo which I also enjoyed except I was so taken in by the sashimi that it dominates my memory. PS this summer I found a muscadet I really l... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Oysters


  • Mirabelle isn't even listed under Schramsberg in my dictionary... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Good sparkling wines not from...


  • Chateau de Pennautier Cabardes 2013

    Snoothrank:

    I bought this bottle of wine from a shop in London [ www.nicolas.com ] for ... ... of Carcasonne in southern France. Wines must be a blend and a minimum of 40% of the grapes used must be from the Atlantic or Bordeaux side [merlot,cabernet and malbec etc ] and a minimum of 40% from the south [syrah and grenache etc ] My bottle comes from the la... Read More

    Wine review by duncan 906


  • After a day of research I believe I have found some to try in the future that ... ... (CA)FAT BASTARD  (FRANCE)ESTANCIA  (CA)DE LOACH  (CA)LUC PIRLET  (FRANCE)SEA GLASS  (CA)HAHN  (CA)SEVEN PEAKS  (CA)All are Pinot Noirs and are available locally here in Washington State.Notice none of the wines are from the great Pinot Noir State of Oregon. ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Searching for a Resonable...


  • So I have to denounce the Schramsberg Mirabelle. One of the worst sparklers I've had...could be the quality went down at some point. Those I've tried were from a few years ago. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Good sparkling wines not from...


  • Treveri Cellars in Yakima, Washington, makes some excellent sparkling wines.  The price point is very reasonable at $15 to $20.http://www.trevericellars.com  Read More

    Forum post in the topic Good sparkling wines not from...


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