Regional Wine Guide: France
Kiss of wine
France is famous for its winemaking. Moreso, they’re defined by their prestige in doing so in the most classic and refined fashion. So much so they’ve redefined winemaking in modern times and sought to future-proof the industry for not only themselves but for the benefit of Europe and the winemaking world.
French winemaking dates back to the 6th Century BC. While it was the Greeks who brought wine to France, it was the French who made an art out of winemaking. They birthed modern winemaking techniques as we know them today.
Despite this long history, French winemaking has not been immune to the external factors impacting Europe over the centuries. Outbreaks of disease, plagues and world wars left it vulnerable, and in 1937 they created the Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC), intended to protect the authenticity and quality of French wine.
Main Regions and Varieties
Unlike most winemaking nations, wine is grown and produced across the entire country. Notable regions to keep your eye out for, though, are Bordeaux, Loire Valley, Provence, Champagne and Burgundy.
Major regions are:
Red, white, rose, sparkling… you name it, France has probably made tonnes of it. In order of production, French wine production is split like this.
Red wine: Merlot, Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon.
White-wine: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Semmilon
While it is difficult to wrap up each of the wine styles in France, each deserves a mention since the French do them so well.