ARTICLE

Discovering the 9 Classic French Wine Regions

04.10.2022
Vignobles du Beaujolais
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Gewurzstraminer

Alsace Gewurztraminer AOC

Wine and Spirits
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Champagne

Champagne

Wine and Spirits
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Corbieres

Corbières AOC

Wine and Spirits
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Chinon on purple background

Chinon PDO

Wine and Spirits
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Cotes_Provence

Côtes de Provence

Wine and Spirits
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Bandol

Bandol wine PDO

Wine and Spirits
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Chateauneuf

Châteauneuf-du-Pape AOC

Wine and Spirits
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For the French, wine is defined by place. Understanding starts with a region; then the focus tightens down to a single vineyard. With a country so large and diverse, the options become almost infinite, but that’s where the fun begins. Each French wine has its own personality and its own place at the table – as different as the regions of France themselves.

Alsace

Lying between the Vosges mountains and the Rhine, this north- eastern region of France is the heartland of opulent, single-varietal white wines. Made from Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, Sylvaner or Muscat, they cover the spectrum from dry to sweet.

Alsace, a vineyard of terroirs!

Alsace, a vineyard of terroirs!

Beaujolais

Gamay is the beloved grape of the Beaujolais region, just to the south of Burgundy, making fruity, unpretentious reds with bright acidity and low tannins – so easy to match with food. More serious versions come from the ten named crus in the northern hills.

Bordeaux

France’s largest wine region is home to the most renowned (and imitated) red blends on the planet. Cabernet Sauvignon stars on the Left Bank of the Garonne River, Merlot on the Right. Local whites include superb sweet Barsac and Sauternes.

Château Canon Saint-Emilion
  • ©Omar Sotillo

    Burgundy

    Every square inch of Burgundy’s vineyards (and 400 types of soil) has been judged and assessed for more than 600 years – no wonder this is the birthplace of the concept of terroir. It’s also the home of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, here made into wines that set standards for the world.

    Burgundians? Mâconnais first!

    Burgundians? Mâconnais first!

    Champagne

    The chilly chalk hills of Champagne are ideally suited to making sparkling wine from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier (whether performing solo or together). The age-old process is long and laborious but the results are divine.

    Champagne service
  • ©Tristan Gassert

    Languedoc

    Modern wine-growers delight in experimentation in the great southern region, where vines luxuriate in the hot, bright Mediterranean sun. Ripeness is a given; the goal is to find an accompanying finesse and a true expression of place.

    Languedoc - A Monochromatic Vineyard?

    All colored wines

    Loire Valley

    Winding from Auvergne through “the Garden of France” all the way to the Atlantic, the Loire passes many historic winelands where Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc or Muscadet reign supreme. Cabernet Franc gives deliciously light, tangy reds.

    The Loire Valley's Eco-Friendly Vineyards

    Loire_Responsable

    Provence

    France’s oldest wine region (2,600 years and counting) is also the only one to specialize in rosé – pastel- coloured, dry, refreshing wines with a streak of minerality that perfectly suit the sun-soaked, laid- back Provençal life-style.

    Clos de Paulilles mer
  • ©Louis-Laurent Grandadam

    Rhône Valley

    Syrah and Viognier are king and queen of the northern valley, but 95 percent of Rhône wine comes from the south, where Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre revel in the Mediterranean climate. Blending creates rich, hearty reds and robust whites and rosés.

    Saint-Joseph: on the Rhône

    Saint-Joseph: on the Rhône

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