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French wines are delicious. Visiting French wine country is a special experience. You get to touch the tradition, the culture of wine-making and wine drinking, enjoy local gastronomy, and learn the history.
Here you will find practical guides on visiting wineries in France. Which wineries should you visit? How to get there? Where to eat during your winery hopping? Best wine tours and local wine guides.
French Wine Regions
French wine regions are extremely diverse which is explained by a variety of climates, landscapes and local traditions.
French love their wines and drink more 50 bottles of wine per year. 9 of 10 bottles consumed in the country are French wines.
In France, it is common to refer to wines as coming from a particular wine region, or an appellation, for example, a glass of Bordeaux, a bottle of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, a coup of Champagne, as opposed to grape varieties (Cab Sauv, Merlot, or Syrah).
France accounts for 15% of world wine production, and it second only to Italy by the volume of wine produced in a year.
France produced 43.9 million hectoliters of wine in 2020, which equals to approximately 6.5 billion bottles. Source: OIV
Bordeaux produces close to 1B bottles of wine per year.
Many factors are affecting the price of French wine: difficult growing traditions, prestige, rigorous selection of grapes, etc.
Read my article on Why is Bordeaux Wine So Famous and Expensive? for mor reasons.
Appellation of Protected Origin (L’Appellation d’origine protégée) (AOP) indicates a product that was made in a particular European region using recognized local production methods.
L’Appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC) refers to products made specifically in France.
The concept was first created in the early 20th century to protect producers from fraud. In 1935, a decree of was pronounced to protect wine-makers.
The system of appellations is governed in France by INAO (Institut National del’ Origin et de la Qualite) which guarantees that wine was produced using permitted grape varieties, agricultural methods, production technologies, even bottling and labelling are regulated.
Some of the most famous protected appellations in French wine are Bordeaux, Champagne, and Cognac.
List of Main Wine Regions in France
The table below summarizes key attributes of the wine regions and the nearest cities to help you plan your trip.
|Wine region||Wine style||Main grape varieties||Closest cities|
|The Loire Valley||white|
|The Rhone Valley||red|
Clairette Blanche Vermentino
Map of Wine Regions in France
Wineries to Visit in France