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

  • Pinot Noir

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

  • Syrah

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

  • 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...

  • Sauvignon Blanc

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

  • 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

  • Lamothe

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

  • Château De Seguin

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

  • Château Timberlay

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

  • Champagne Demoiselle Vranken

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

  • Cordier

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

  • Albert Boxler

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

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France on Snooth

  • 'Branding' as an industry could be said to have started in France, and it's no mistake that famous fashion brands and wine brands often now reside within the same conglomerate. No way can any CA sparkler compete with the cachet and marketing clout of Champagne.Veuve's entry level bubblies have dropped considerably in quality starting roughly a c... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Top 10 Restaurant WInes


  • We enjoyed another beautiful day in southern France.  Today we sailed from Lyon to Vienne along the Rhone River, going through several locks.  We bought this Bordeaux wine at a nice market in Lyon prior to departure and shared it with friends.  They shared their Burgundy wine with us.  Ours was easily the more tasty wine. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekday Wines


  • We are having a great time cruising down the Saone River in France; this morning (Tuesday) we are about to arrive in Lyon, where we will then proceed down the Rhone River.  Perfect weather out here too.We bought two bottles of wine in Burgundy after a wine tasting in Beaune.  Last night they served this Bordeaux wine with the meal - I had severa... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekday Wines


  • Chateau Leoville las Cases St Julien 2011

    Snoothrank:

    It was a Château Léoville Las Cases 1995, he has the 1993 but wanted to tease me. Still drinking very young. Great Cab/ Cab Franc blend. And still amazingly young. Great Job Mr Sussman for cellaring. (I already told you tonite, thanks for bringing a favorite to share.) William Read More

    Wine review by William Djubin


  • Henri Giraud Brut Grand Cru Homage Francois Hemart

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by caitlinclaire


  • Domaine les Grands Bois Cuvee Marc 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Smooth, light, a bit of a tannic finish Read More

    Wine review by dnemerov


  • Frederic Lornet Arbois Trousseau 2011

    Snoothrank:

    I bought this bottle of wine from a mail-order company [www.confitdirect.co.uk ... from the Jura wine region of France,a part of Franche-Comte between Burgundy and the Swiss border in the foothills of the Alps.The Arbois AOC was created in 1936 [although wine has been made in the region since at least medieval times] for wines from around the ... Read More

    Wine review by duncan 906


  • Gabriel Meffre Cotes-du-Rhone "Saint Vincent" 2013

    Snoothrank:

    In seeking out some good restaurant whites for the summer, I came across this Rhone white which reflects the inclusion of Roussanne in the blend - lending the nose a subtle white fruit scent of kiwi, gooseberry, fresh concrete and soft herbs. The entry is soft, with spring water cleanliness and pear-like flavours. For the price, you get gentle... Read More

    Wine review by zufrieden


  • "Guess what day it is"  It's Wednesday, April 15th ... ... Mavericks, on the coast of France. Anne's fruit came from the 2nd pick and she used a non-interventionist approach. It saw no stems, no adds and 20% new oak. The resulting wine had a bold nose of dried fruit and earth and gave notes of ripe/rich blackberry and blueberry. 2014 Benevolen... Read More

    Forum post in the topic A day in the life, 2015 Las...


  • We celebrated my wife Sandra's coming retirement - the 200 day mark was ... ... Muscadet Sevre et Maine, France 2013 and myself enjoying a glass of Joseph Mellot Sauvignon Blanc Loire Valley, France 2013.  Both glasses were nice with the oysters.  We also enjoyed a spinach tart here too before heading out to the next place...Which turned out t... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekday Wines


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