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 »

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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...

  • 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...

  • Chardonnay

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

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

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 ...

  • Champagne Demoiselle Vranken

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

  • Albert Boxler

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

  • 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 Timberlay

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

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France on Snooth

  • Chateau Suau Sauternes 2006


    Finished the meal at Mercat Bistro. Just a lovely Sauternes. Golden amber in the glass, thick and creamy, with sweet with scents and tastes of ripe pear and peach, and a back of raisin. Ridiculously low price. Read More

    Wine review by puhnner

  • "It was the most widely planted red variety in the world just a few years ... ... greatest by acreage in France. Merlot is firs Read More

    Forum post in the topic Garnacha, grenache--tomato,...

  • So Peter Mathis, who has worked at Ravenswood for eons, has his own grenache ... almost certainly came from France way back in the day, so they weren't necessarily high cropping clones.  It's really great and age-worthy.  I'd bring it to a tasting and see if anyone could guess where it came from.  I'm betting it would fool a lot of CdP lovers.... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Garnacha, grenache--tomato,...

  • I had a tuna salad this evening and I had a fairly unusal white wine with it. I ... Savoy.Savoy is that part of France south of Lake Geneva close to the Swiss border in the foothills of the Alps popular with skiers in the winter. and the jacquere grape is native to the area.It was made at the domaine of Jean-Pierre and Jean-Francois Quenard fro... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?

  • Jean-Pierre et Jean-Francois Quenard Chignin Vin de Savoie Anne de la Biguerne 2013


    I bought a bottle of this wine for £14.50 from a shop in London's Kensington [ ] The Savoie AOC covers a very large area south of Lake Geneva close to the Swiss border in the foothills of the Alps and includes four whole departments producing mainly white wines but also some reds and sparkling wines.My bottle was made at the ... Read More

    Wine review by duncan 906

  • Chambolle-Musigny Vielles Vignes Domaine J.M Fourrier 2007


    Smooth Read More

    Wine review by scwino

  • Château Camensac Red Bordeaux Blend Haut-Médoc 2006


    No written review

    Wine review by scwino

  • DM - as you know, it's originally from Spain in Aragon. It was the most ... ... today southern Spain and France because that region was under their rule. There's some in Sardinia and a few Sardinians claim that's the rightful home of it, but they're the only ones who believe that. And it's pretty bad too.The peasants back in the day, and remem... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Garnacha, grenache--tomato,...

  • On and off with differing frequency mention is made on these boards of garnacha ... ... familiar with Spain and France but not up on what's currently done well in the States. Who's doing a good job in CA and WA, and just how good are they doing it? Which wines do you specifically like from the Rhone or SW France, or from Catalonia or points so... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Garnacha, grenache--tomato,...

  • Vieux Papes Rouge NV


    It's a screw cap so it's perfect for everyday causal lunch or dinner at home. Chill for about 40minutes before serving. It makes it more drinkable. Read More

    Wine review by KipinitReal78

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