It doesn’t take a wine connoisseur to know that France has a rich and wonderful wine heritage. The country produces some of the world’s finest wines, and is home of the famous Champagne. Lots of new, popular wines are hitting our shelves from New Zealand, Chile, and Argentina.
These countries are discovering fantastic ways to ferment and create wonderful aromas. However, the French have the edge when it comes to wine making. Their heritage alone surpasses any other nation on the planet.
Why? Well, it quite simply comes down to age. The French have been creating fine wines for two and a half millennia. The origins of the French tipple reach back over 2600 years. At this period in time, monks were responsible for creating many of the fine wines we still drink today.
This head start has given France the technique, the skills, and the patience to create truly beautiful flavours. If you’ve ever been to France on holiday, or bought a good bottle of French wine, you’ll know exactly what we mean!
We’ve established that the French are expert wine makers, but where are the very best wine regions? After all, some of these regions are as famous as the wines themselves. We decided to explore our favourite regions, and list the best for you here. So, grab a glass of your best French wine, and enjoy our countdown!
We couldn’t possibly compile a list of French wine regions without mentioning Champagne. It seems that many people don’t realise that only Champagne from this region is real Champagne. Fermented or created anywhere else, it’s simply a fizzy wine imitator.
The region is north-east of Paris, and enjoys a perfect climate for grape growing. The very first recipe was created by a monk by the name of Dom Pierre Perignon (sound familiar?) It’s this original creation that still exists today. The region is perhaps the most famous wine producing area in the world.
Situated just south of Champagne is the beautiful countryside of Burgundy. The area is noted for its delicious, rich red wines. Again, it has a long heritage with the first wines here created by monks. It’s the hand-picked, slowly fermented process that still exists in many places today.
Burgundy is well known for its small, family vineyards. You won’t find any industrial giants here. For that reason it’s a great place to think about investing in a French vineyard. The plots of land are small, quaint, and very traditional.
The Bordeaux region has a very close connection to the UK. So, many of the French wines you see in the supermarket come from this area. The Bordeaux region is synonymous with what we call ‘clarets’ over here. The deep, rich red tastes are intricately linked to the area.
The connection with the UK goes all the way back to Henry II, who married a French woman from this region. He set up trade links and wine exports back to England, because he loved the taste. Those trade routes and connections still exist today.
This region doesn’t quite have the prestige of the others, but it’s still very important. It provides more than 40% of all French wine. The Languedoc area tends to focus on quantity rather than quality. Though, we must say, the average wine drinker will still find plenty to enjoy! The exports here tend to be cheaper than other regions, and regularly find their way onto our dinner tables.
The Loire Valley
This region is often considered the most beautiful and spectacular wine area. Thanks to its magnificent castles and Renaissance buildings, it has a rich history and culture. You’ll find classic French towns, and quaint villages dotting the countryside.
As for the wine, it makes some of the best in the world. The Loire Valley is famous for its variety. While most regions in France tend to specialise in a particular white or red, the Loire Valley has it all. It’s a tricky environment to work with, as it’s more humid than the other areas. But, that hasn’t stopped winemakers creating some stunning aromas and tastes.