France

France

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.

From Bordeaux

BORDEAUX

France

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From Paris, Dijon, Beaune

BURGUNDY

France

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From Marseille, Avignon, Aix-en-Provence, Nice, Toulon

PROVENCE

France

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From Paris, Reims

CHAMPAGNE

France

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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.

Champagne and the Loire Valley are the closest, as well as Burgundy.

Bordeaux is only 2 hours away on a high-speed train.

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.

363

Wine and spirits appellations in France

13,000

Wine estates in France

6.5 B

Bottles produced in France

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 regionWine styleMain grape varietiesClosest cities
Burgundyred
white
Pinot Noir
Chardonnay
Beaune
Dijon
Macon
Paris
Bordeauxred
white
rose
sparkling
Merlot
Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Franc
Sauvignon Blanc
Semillon
Bordeaux
Biarritz
Paris
San Sebastien
ChampagnesparklingChardonnay
Pinot Noir
Meunier
Reims
Paris
Troyes
The Loire Valleywhite
red
sparkling
Sauvignon Blanc
Chenin Blanc
Muscadet
Cabernet Franc
Gamay
Tours
Nantes
Paris
Alsacewhite
sparkling
Riesling
Gewurztraminer
Pinot Gris
Muscat
Strasbourg
Mullhause
The Rhone Valleyred
white
Syrah
Grenache
Mourvedre
Viognier
Marsanne
Roussanne
Lyon
Avignon
Valence
BeaujolaisredGamayLyon
Macon
Provence
rose
red
white
Grenache
Cinsault
Syrah
Mourvèdre
Tibouren
Grenache Blanc
Clairette Blanche Vermentino
Bourboulenc
Roussanne
Marsanne
Ugni Blanc
Viognier
Marseille
Aix-en-Provence
Avignon
Toulon
Southern Francered
white
Grenache
Syrah
Carignan
Cinsault
Mourvedre
Chardonnay
Sauvignon Blanc
Viognier
Montpellier
Perpignan

Map of Wine Regions in France

Wineries to Visit in France

Bordeaux Wineries

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