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

  • Merlot

    The Occitanian word “merlot” translates to “young blackbird.” An accurate description for this popular, early-budding...

  • 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...

  • Chardonnay

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

  • Pinot Noir

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

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 Franc Cardinal

    This estate was originally owned by Jean-Louis Lacour but he sent most of his production to a n...

  • Moët & Chandon

      Moet & Chandon is one of the most well-known luxury champagne producers in the word. Wi...

  • Cordier

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

  • Clos de l'Oratoire des Papes

    Patience, know-how, observation, intuition...these are the skills required to make and age our wi...

  • 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...

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France on Snooth

  • I went to Bordeaux back in May and the owners of the chateaux we got taken to were all complaining about the frost and the lack of rainfall. Read More

    Forum post in the topic France 2016


  • Looking forward to the Aussie info. Read More

    Forum post in the topic France 2016


  • https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/jul/23/cold-spring-leaves-french-grape-harvest-headed-for-historic-lowInteresting Article on the 2016 French VintageWe have just got the Australian Summary - will post once I get the link Read More

    Forum post in the topic France 2016


  • De Psv Saint Veran St Veran 2013

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by Paradise111


  • Domaine Raspail Coteaux du Tricastin 1986

    Snoothrank:

    I bought two bottles of this wine from the website www.bidforwine.co.uk/auctions/show/110957 for £6.50. The Coteaux du Tricastin was an appellation for red,white and rose wines,although 95% of production are reds,from 21 communes to the south of the town of Montelimar on the east bank of the Rhone river.The appellation was granted in 1973 althou... Read More

    Wine review by duncan 906


  • Egly Ouriet Vp Grand Cru Brut NV

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by cbirdsong


  • Domaine Saint Gayan Rasteau 2013

    Snoothrank:

    I bought this bottle of wine for £12 from a shop in Wiltshire [www.yapp.co.uk] Rasteau is an appellation originally created in 1944 [although viticulture here goes back to before the Romans] for fortified wines made mainly of the grenache grape from the area around the village of that name some 12 miles north-east of the town of Orange on the ba... Read More

    Wine review by duncan 906


  • Perrin Cotes du Rhone Reserve Red 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Well balance fruit and acid with very light tannins. Easy drinker. Read More

    Wine review by RandyFisher


  • Chateau Haut-Monplaisir "Prestige" Cahors 2012

    Snoothrank:

    This was a truer expression of the terroir than anything, which is why I like malbec from Cahors. Blackberry, pepper, short bursts of florals as you swirl. The tannic structure is soft, but notiible and is balanced by good acidity. Well done - 90 points - Paul Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951


  • Chateau Haut Rian Bordeaux Rose 2016

    Snoothrank:

    I bought this bottle of wine from a shop in London's Kensington [www.nicolas.co.uk ] for £10. It is a rose wine produced by Chateau Haut Rian under the general Bordeaux appellation.It consists of 60% cabernet sauvignon,25% merlot and 15% cabernet franc. I started the bottle last night with my supper of fish cakes and salad.It is a dry,but not bo... Read More

    Wine review by duncan 906


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