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

  • Merlot

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

  • Syrah

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

  • 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

  • Champagne Demoiselle Vranken

    Built on the hamlet of Les Demoiselles, the Château des Castaignes produces the DEMOISELLE vintag...

  • Moët & Chandon

      Moet & Chandon is one of the most well-known luxury champagne producers in the word. Wi...

  • Michel Picard

    Picard Père et Fils is one of the largest wine producers and négociants in Burgundy and, with nea...

  • Château Timberlay

    Château Timberlay (appellation Bordeaux Supérieur) is located in Saint-Andre-de-Cubzac. It symbol...

  • 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...

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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


  • Lucien le Moine Puligny Montrachet Premier Cru les Folatieres 2002

    Snoothrank:

    This bottle was part of a lot I bought on the website www.bidforwine.co.uk/auctions/show/114698. On the Cotes de Beaune in Burgundy there is a slope known as Mont Rachet [Bare Mountain] between the villages of Puligny and Chassange [both of which have appended Montrachet to their names] which is famous for white wines although there are a few re... Read More

    Wine review by duncan 906


  • Penya Viognier Cotes Catalanes 2016

    Snoothrank:

    On a quality per dollar spent ratio...I don't think I've ever had a better wine. A stout, solid white wine with rich melon flavors. My first experience with Viognier and not my last, or my last with Penya, for sure. Read More

    Wine review by GrantC


  • Domaine des Billards Saint-Amour 2015

    Snoothrank:

    This Cru Beaujolais is a fine wine; the nose is of a young woman's perfume - not the kind a richer person can afford, but mixed with her 18-year old purity of scent. On the palette comes a deep, vinous, juicy red-lip smack of flavour with the memoire of fresh grapes (Gamay, of course) lying in deep bunches. Delicious and there is the lasting vi... Read More

    Wine review by zufrieden


  • Jean Claude Dagueneau Saint Andelain Pouilly Fume 2012

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by martins2002


  • Joseph Drouhin Chorley-Les-Beaune Red Burgundy 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Smoky and brooding with a gruff exterior and streaks of perfumed tar belying a fresh fruit core of cherry and strawberry. This starts out juicy on the palate but quickly goes rustic, earthy and toasted with lit matchstick earthiness and muted fruit notes of cranberry and cherry. Austere, elegant and complex. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Chateau Ducluzeau Listrac Medoc 1991

    Snoothrank:

    I bought this bottle of wine for £10 from the website www.bidforwine.co.uk/auctions/show/116891.Listrac-Medoc is an appellation created in 1957,although there has been viticulture here since at least the 12th century,for red wines from the commune of that name on the Medoc peninsular north of the City of Bordeaux.. The commune is set back a litt... Read More

    Wine review by duncan 906


  • Lavender Row Pays D' Oc France Pinot Noir 2015

    Snoothrank:

    very good for a young wine. probably sweeter than i would prefer for this cuvee which would have fared better in the oak. Read More

    Wine review by Pickit4flavor


  • Domaine Gille Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru 2013

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by martins2002


  • Le Renard Givry Domaines Devillard 2014

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by martins2002


  • Deux Roches Vire-Clesse Tradition Collovray & Terrier 2014

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by martins2002


  • 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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