France is known as the city of love, but that’s not the only claim to fame. France is home to some of the most iconic wines in the world, diverse in flavour profile, origin and influence. Today we are going to delve into a brief history of some of the best wines you can find in France, so you can know what to look for during your next visit or bring France to you at home when you buy wine online. When talking about brands and regions, they really are synonymous when it comes to wine, so let’s take a scenic route through these fabulously iconic wine regions in France.
Even the novices have heard of Bordeaux and the beautiful reds that come from this southwest region in France. If you don’t have time to explore every one of these sub-regions in France or at the local bottle shop, then start with Pomerol and Saint-Emilion. If you love Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, then get familiar with these pockets and sample some world-renowned reds. You can also find Semillion and Sauvignon Blanc from Bordeaux if you would like to try a white, but there are better regions for that coming up! If you are skilled at hunting down the most vintage red wine you can find, be sure to understand if that is necessary as some of these reds can be enjoyed after little aging and are designed that way.
Champagne is a fabulous place to visit, and a truly spectacular way to pop champagne and enjoy the French countryside. In the northeast of France and close to Luxemburg and Belgium, the Champagne region has the perfect temperature and soil conditions to produce champagne. Reims and Epernay are both found in the Champaign region, and they are home to the labels we know and love, like Veuve Clicquot, Mumm, Moet & Chandon and Ruinart. If you are short on time, this is well worth putting at the top of your list if you have the fortune of visiting. This wine region is probably the most tourist-friendly spot, as they have dedicated Champagne tours down in the wine vaults where you can see the barrels of champagne aging away.
Heading into more Mediterranean destinations is the Provence wine region, close to the iconic Rhone Valley. Provence might just be one of the oldest wine regions out there, boasting 2,600 years of perfecting wine. If you like rose, then you are going to be pleased to know that more than 75% of the wine made in this region is rose – diverse in flavour profiles and influence. Rose has become more popular in recent years and so many parts of the world are starting to add this variety to their production line, but we suggest you stick with France on this one and enjoy rose from the Provence region only! You want your rose to be dry and minerally fruity – unlike some of the more intense fruity flavours we are seeing now.
Still on the Mediterranean side of France is an island called Corsica, both under French rule but also carrying a Tuscan influence due to the proximity and influence. This island can often fall off the must-visit list, but the wines coming out of Corsica are truly incredible and very diverse. If you like Pinot Noir, Tempranillo or a glass of Barbarossa – then this is where you want to be looking. Many believe that the diverse flavours found in these three wines are made possible due to the island location, as well as being made by French but technically closer to Italian soil. These variables make for a surprising collection, and it’s a great way to delight friends who think they have seen it all when it comes to Pinot Noir until they taste one from Corsica.
If you are someone who is fascinated with the soil and the geographic influence that a place has on wine, then Burgendy winemakers are speaking your language! Here you will find some of the best Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines – and the region really dedicate their time to these main grape varieties. Burgundy winemakers also believe in incorporating every part of the grape, so that there is little waste and more flavour profiles added to enhance the end result. Bring a bottle of Chardonnay or Pinot Noir from Burgundy to your next wine night, and your peers will be able to taste how effective that methodology is.
We hope you learnt something about the many wine regions that can be found in France, and just how different they are from one another. It doesn’t take long to get to know the wine you are drinking and it will enhance your ability to spot the elements of a wine that are going to be most palatable for you and your tastes.
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