French Wine

Perhaps no country evokes such strong associations with fine wine as does France. Its reputation has led to worldwide imitation. Many varieties that are now considered international, such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, are French, and winemaking pioneers in New World regions such as California and Chile look to the great wines of France as their benchmark.


France has been making wine since approximately 600 BC, and was its largest producer until it was passed by Italy in 2008.  With over 800,000 hectacres under vine, it has the largest vineyard area in the world after Spain. It is, however, the world’s largest producer of fine wines. AC wines constitute over 45 percent of its production, compared with 12 to 15 percent of Italy’s, for example.

One advantage France has over other wine-producing countries is the great variety of growing climates it encompasses. Its south has a Mediterranean climate, with a warm sun that can be relied on to fully ripen grapes. Western France Read more »

Mentor for French Wines

Christy Canterbury MW

Master of Wine. Wine judge+public speaker. Journalist for Snooth+Decanter+TimAtkin.com+Beverage Media+SOMM Journal+Civiltà del Bere+others. Short-listed for the 2014 Roederer Online Communicator of the Year Award. Incorrigible traveler!

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Popular wines made in France under $20

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Varietals Produced in France View all

  • Syrah

    The irony here is that Syrah’s origins could give Carmen Sandiego a run for her international wallet. Syrah’s deepest...

  • Merlot

    The Occitanian word “merlot” translates to “young blackbird.” An accurate description for this popular, early-budding...

  • Sauvignon Blanc

    Sauvignon Blanc is widely grown in California -- at over 15,000 acres, it’s now the third most planted variety -- and...

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

    “King of the Red Wine Grapes.” The colonizer of the vineyards, pushing native wine grapes into its shadows. The Caber...

  • Chardonnay

    British wine writer and critic, Jancis Robinson, once noted that throughout the 80’s and 90’s in the United States, C...

  • Pinot Noir

    “With so voluptuous a perfume, so sweet an edge, they make the blood run hot,” Joel Fleischman, wine columnist at Van...

Subregions of France

  • Alsace

    This region, wedged between the Rhine River and the Voges Mountains, is the product of a fascin...

  • Armagnac

      Armagnac is a grape brandy that is produced in the Gascony region of France. It’s the olde...

  • Bordeaux

    Located around the Gironde estuary and along the Dordogne and Garonne rivers, Bordeaux is one o...

  • Burgundy

      Burgundy is perhaps the most complex and intimidating of French wine regions. It is locate...

  • Champagne

      Champagne is the most famous sparkling wine region in the world. It is located in northeas...

  • Cognac

      Table wine production has existed in the Cognac region of France since the Romans first pl...

  • Jura

    Jura is a French wine region that lies between Burgundy and Switzerland. The wines produced her...

  • Languedoc-roussillon

      This incredibly diverse region produces about a quarter of all the wine made in France, bu...

  • Loire

      The Loire River valley is a massively varied viticultural region in northwestern France. I...

  • Provence

    Sun-soaked Provence – home of the celebrated destinations of St. Tropez and Cannes, and beloved...

  • Rhône

      Located along a section of the Rhone river in southeastern France, this is really two regi...

  • Savoie

    Vin de Savoie is an Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) situation in the Alps. The wines from...

  • South West France

    South West France, or Sud Ouest, is a large expanse that covers several districts within the co...

  • Aquitaine and Charentes

  • Auvergne

Popular Wineries in France View all

  • Château Paul Mas

    For over 170 years, González Byass has committed itself to research and quality for its range of ...

  • Lamothe

    We had this wine while in the Bahamas and loved it. Would like to know where we can purchase it...

  • Alexis Lichine

    Alexis Lichine was a Russian-born wine writer and entrepreneur, who made many important contrib...

  • Clos de l'Oratoire des Papes

    Patience, know-how, observation, intuition...these are the skills required to make and age our wi...

  • Château Saint Christophe

    The Château Saint-Christophe is an independent family-owned vintner from the Bordeaux area in F...

  • Château Franc Cardinal

    This estate was originally owned by Jean-Louis Lacour but he sent most of his production to a n...

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France on Snooth

  • Iam fairly new to french wine. I am looking to start expanding my french wine knowledge. I would love any suggestions.

    Comment by 7964231francophile 796423 1francophile


  • La Pierre a Fusil Valencay 2015

    Snoothrank:

    I bought this bottle of wine from a shop in London's Kensington [www.nicolas.co.uk] for £8.Valencay is an appellation created in 2004,although there has been viticulture here for centuries,for red,rose and white wines from 15 communes south of the River Cher around the small town of that name about 50 miles east of the City of Tours. My bottle i... Read More

    Wine review by duncan 906


  • Domaine de la Morandiere Muscadet Sevre et Maine Sur Lie 2015

    Snoothrank:

    I bought this bottle of wine from a local wineshop [www.boroughwines.co.uk ] for £10.It is from the Muscadet Sevre et Maine appellation.This was created in 1936[although there has been vitioculture here for centuries] for white wines made of the melon de bourgogne grape from 23 communes south-east of the City of Nantes.The melon grape was brough... Read More

    Wine review by duncan 906


  • Château Haut-Franquet Red Bordeaux Blend Moulis En Médoc 1998

    Snoothrank:

    I bought two bottles of this wine for £10-50 on the website www.bidforwine.co.uk/auctions/show/119755.Moulis is a small appellation created in 1938 [although there has been viticulture here for centuries] for red wines from the commune of that name located about 20 miles north of the City of Bordeaux.My bottle comes from the small family concern... Read More

    Wine review by duncan 906


  • Chateau Carignan Prima 2014

    Snoothrank:

    We do not get Chateau Carignan up this way often, but we should: the 100% Merlot Prima has Fronsac-like subdued rusticity with a deep, fresh cherry bouquet and male-merlot depth, power and finish on the palate. Judicious use of oak adds spice and age-worthiness. Slightly bitter on the back-end, but this comes with youth. 89. Read More

    Wine review by zufrieden


  • Mercurey Premier Cru la Mission Monopole Chateau de Chamirey 2013

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by martins2002


  • Château Olivier Rouge 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Punching above the weight of the vintage is the Chateau Olivier 2012...with a wonderfully miscible blend of cedar bark, blackberry jam and white pepper on the nose and a good blackberry and soft oak on the palate. Finish is quite long for the vintage and the wine will mate well with steak. 90. Read More

    Wine review by zufrieden


  • Chablis Domaine des Malandes 2015

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by martins2002


  • It's a place with as long a history as most any winery in France--Chateau Haut Brion, down in the Graves. Read More

    Forum post in the topic How not to store wine


  • Echezeaux Burgundy Echezeaux 1983

    Snoothrank:

    Possible. Fingers crossed again. Albeit promised a taste this week. Read More

    Wine review by William Djubin


  • Domaine Parize Pere et Fils Givry Rouge 'La Fauleraie' Vieilles Vignes 2016

    Snoothrank:

    I bought this bottle of wine from a shop near London's Liverpool Street railway station [www.danddwineshop.com].The Givry appellation was created in 1946,although viticulture here goes back to at least the Romans,for red and white wines [though 80% are red] from three communes around the village of that name on the Cotes Chalonaise in southern B... Read More

    Wine review by duncan 906


  • Just found out my 90 yr old mil would love to have a bottle of Chassagne-Montrachet as her father was originally from France and she thinks there might be a connection to the wineries. I would like to get a nice bottle for her (approx. $40 - 50). Am in the 21222 zipcode and can't find anything near me.

    Comment by 1429001Sharyn Jenkins 1429001 Sharyn Jenkins


  • where in the uk can we obtain clos siguier, a malbec?

    Comment by 983342mitmann 983342 mitmann


  • OMG. Thats where wine comes from. Huge varienty and quality to go around and around. My favorite wines come from France. Yay!

    Comment by 936723WineauxSlave 936723 WineauxSlave


  • New image uploaded to this page.

    Page modification by 868380songwx 868380 songwx


  • appellation-a-vent Stuart Imports Chateau Des Jaque J Thorin 1959 Magnum

    Comment by 744135Lila Meyers 744135 Lila Meyers


  • Just had a bottle of Chateau Des Gravies 1999 with dinner at Christmas Eve. It was fantastic, well balanced and great finish.

    Comment by 696084Rkato 696084 Rkato


  • Let’s face it, this is may be the most intimidating problem facing a prospective wine buyer, either at a restaurant, wine store or wine auction. You probably don’t remember French pronunciation, but if you are lucky you may have some other Romantic language under your belt. Here is a list of some basic terms and their pronunciation: * Amon...

    Comment by 629309MadBistro 629309 MadBistro


  • "Ridiculously cheap" yet "drinkable" - how often do you find those phrases together in connection with French wine? See them dance together on the Sediment blog at www.sedimentblog.com

    Comment by 546548Sedimentblog 546548 Sedimentblog


  • Love France - love French wine!

    Comment by 345074Sweetie22 345074 Sweetie22


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