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

  • 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...

  • Sauvignon Blanc

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

  • 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...

  • 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

  • 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...

  • Château Timberlay

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

  • Château de Pommard

    Today, Château de Pommard is the largest private vineyard in Bourgogne. Its 20 hectares of wines ...

  • Arrogant Frog

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

  • Alexis Lichine

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

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France on Snooth

  • Iam fairly new to french wine. I am looking to start expanding my french wine knowledge. I would love any suggestions.

    Comment by 7964231francophile 796423 1francophile


  • Chateau de Montfaucon Baron Louis Lirac 2010

    Snoothrank:

    Lirac - a fine wine in its own right, just across the Rhone from Chateauneuf-de-Pape, is nevertheless a cheap alternative to CdP. This wine, for instance, from the very good 2010 vintage, exudes blueberry in spades and introduces cherry, cola, dark chocolate and (of course) blueberry to the palate - which has great staying power. Its power dim... Read More

    Wine review by zufrieden


  • Domaine du Monte Saint Jean Vin de Pays de l'Île de Beauté 2005

    Snoothrank:

    I bought this bottle of wine from the website www.bidforwine.co.uk/auctions/show/74354 for £5.50.Wine production on Corsica goes back to at least 600BC but in the 1960's it was very much boosted by the arrival of re-patriated settlers from Algeria [the so-called pied noirs ] ]to the east coast.The Domaine du Mont Saint Jean grows vines for the U... Read More

    Wine review by duncan 906


  • DV - I don't think there even was a NZ wine industry during Ike's ... ... ... had from Sonoma, Napa, France, Australia or anywhere. Which is why Syrah is such a great grape.Serious thread drift her Read More

    Forum post in the topic The World's Next Biggest Wine...


  • Domaine du Gueret Beaujolais 2013

    Snoothrank:

    just a bit tart, yet still, a very fine gamay whether poured chilled or cool. Read More

    Wine review by Pickit4flavor


  • Frontera Merlot 2013

    Snoothrank:

    This wine is our favorite..Our only local store that we can find it at,"Martin's" has been steadily raising it's cost in just the last month. At start, both the Frontera Cabernet and the Merlot started at $8.99. We prefer the purple label Merlot, and bought it often. It went straight to $14.99, then the Cabernet at $8.99, went to $10.99, then th... Read More

    Wine review by elobettye


  • NV Montparnasse Vin Mousseux, France Brut

    Snoothrank:

    not a fan of sparkling wine: the bubbles tend to compete with the flavor and in this cuvees case the flavor is nebulous. it seems to taste like a bubbly chardonnay, and we do not want that. Read More

    Wine review by Pickit4flavor


  • I guess I was a bit ignorant to think that having the word Burgundy on the ... ... ... to Burgundy wine from France? It's a marketing strategy I suppose that tries to take advantage of the already established fame of another countries wine. Leave it to Gallo to blend a bunch of random grapes together and call it Burgundy. Not that they're the... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Pahrump Valley Winery (Nevada)


  • Have always dismissed Evening Land as generic, throw-away kind of stuff. Glad ... more like California than France. May have to revisit that on Read More

    Forum post in the topic Another sucky evening of...


  • Château Siaurac Red Bordeaux Blend Lalande de Pomerol 2010

    Snoothrank:

    New world styled blend of merlot and cab franc. Ruby red with a touch of plum and clear in the glass. Black fruit on the nose and in the palate. Light acidity with some fairly strong tannins leading to a medium length finish. Read More

    Wine review by RandyFisher


  • I am drinking a Bandol from the south of France ,a Chateau Vannieres 1999.made from 95% mourverde and 5% grenache.There is some blackcurrant and cherry style fruit there but it is very dry and tannic. I had a Jumilla from Spain a few weeks ago [Carta Roja Monastrell Gran Reserva ] which is also a mourverde wine but was far better Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • Just found out my 90 yr old mil would love to have a bottle of Chassagne-Montrachet as her father was originally from France and she thinks there might be a connection to the wineries. I would like to get a nice bottle for her (approx. $40 - 50). Am in the 21222 zipcode and can't find anything near me.

    Comment by 1429001Sharyn Jenkins 1429001 Sharyn Jenkins


  • where in the uk can we obtain clos siguier, a malbec?

    Comment by 983342mitmann 983342 mitmann


  • OMG. Thats where wine comes from. Huge varienty and quality to go around and around. My favorite wines come from France. Yay!

    Comment by 936723WineauxSlave 936723 WineauxSlave


  • New image uploaded to this page.

    Page modification by 868380songwx 868380 songwx


  • appellation-a-vent Stuart Imports Chateau Des Jaque J Thorin 1959 Magnum

    Comment by 744135Lila Meyers 744135 Lila Meyers


  • Just had a bottle of Chateau Des Gravies 1999 with dinner at Christmas Eve. It was fantastic, well balanced and great finish.

    Comment by 696084Rkato 696084 Rkato


  • Let’s face it, this is may be the most intimidating problem facing a prospective wine buyer, either at a restaurant, wine store or wine auction. You probably don’t remember French pronunciation, but if you are lucky you may have some other Romantic language under your belt. Here is a list of some basic terms and their pronunciation: * Amon...

    Comment by 629309MadBistro 629309 MadBistro


  • "Ridiculously cheap" yet "drinkable" - how often do you find those phrases together in connection with French wine? See them dance together on the Sediment blog at www.sedimentblog.com

    Comment by 546548Sedimentblog 546548 Sedimentblog


  • Love France - love French wine!

    Comment by 345074Sweetie22 345074 Sweetie22


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