Winemaking regions of France

France is synonymous with top class, quality wines and can call their wine making techniques among the finest, quality driven techniques in the world. Whilst even the most novice of wine drinkers will recognise the likes of Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne through their long winemaking traditions, wines are commercially produced in every region of France except along the northern coast. 

France produces over 3,000 different wines across two million hectares of vineyards. Generally speaking, the French wine region’s map can be divided into northern vineyards that are known for their white wines, and southern vineyards (with the exception of the Jura and Savoy) that are known for their red wines. The main wine areas of the French wine region map are Bordeaux, Burgundy, Languedoc, Champagne, the Loire Valley, Alsace, Rhône, Provence and Corsica.

Bordeaux

On the Western, Atlantic coast Bordeaux is among the most famous of wines. This region primarily produces red wines from world-renowned chateaux in the Medoc sub-region, Saint-Emilion and Pomerol. The wines made here are typically blends using Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and sometimes Cabernet Franc.  

Burgundy

Burgundy, or ‘Bourgogne’, in the east is a region where red and white wines share equal prominence. Unlike others on the French wine region map, Burgundy places its greatest emphasis on ‘terroir’ in the production of two main grape varieties – Chardonnay for white wines, and Pinot Noir for the reds. The finest wines from the Côte d’Or are among the most prestigious, but also the best in the world.  

Champagne

Situated close to Belgium and Luxembourg, Champagne is the most northern and coldest of the French wine regions, which together with chalky soils provide the ideal circumstances for creating its famous sparkling wine that now goes hand in hand with celebrations around the world.  

The Loire Valley

This wine area offers some of the most scenic vineyards found anywhere on a map of France wine regions, some accompanying the grounds of majestic castles. White wines dominate the area from dry Chenin Blanc wines to tangy Sauvignon Blancs and light Muscadets. 

Côtes du Rhône

Côtes du Rhône is one of those wine regions that is probably more renowned for the large production of its wines and it is home to the highly regarded Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Most wines from here are generally Mediterranean blends using classic southern grapes including Viognier, Syrah, and Grenache.

Provence

On the Mediterranean coast, Provence is located at the southern end of the Rhone Valley. Wine has been made here for over 2,600 years, making it the oldest destination on the French wine region’s map – and it is the only region that dedicates almost all of its production to rose.  

Alsace

Alsace, nestled in the foothills of the Rhine valley beneath the Vosges mountains, is a region steeped in Germanic tradition that produces primarily dry and fruity white wines influenced by its neighbour including Riesling, Sylvaner and Gewurztraminer. The Alsace wine route is one of the oldest and most picturesque trails enjoyed by wine travellers.  

Languedoc-Roussillon

Arguably the most underrated wine region in France, Languedoc-Roussillon accounts for more than a third of the country’s entire wine output. Although once associated with mass production, the region has recently undergone a transformation to become firmly established on the map of France’s top wine regions.  

South West

The South West France wine region, “Sud-Ouest” in the French language, is the 5th largest wine region located in the southwest corner of France. The region has three times more vineyards than Napa Valley and twice more than Burgundy. The South West is one of the least populated in France with a large diversity in grape types. South West France wine region is considered to be the hidden gem of France with less popular grape varieties that all wine drinkers will love.

Corsica

Corsica is an island in the Mediterranean under French rule, although its closeness to Tuscany suggests Italian origins that are apparent in its wines. It is one of the few places in the world that wines as diverse as Pinot Noir, Tempranillo and Barbarossa can be found growing together.

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